Separated WA Families Await Border Reunion

Separated WA Families Await Border Reunion
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan speaks during a media conference at Dumas House in Perth, Australia on Sept. 4, 2020. (Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

Long-separated West Australians are set for an emotional reunion when the state's hard borders come down on Nov 14.

WA has been closed to the rest of the nation for seven months, including to West Australians who were denied entry for compassionate reasons.

About 2000 passengers, including those from overseas, are expected to arrive at Perth Airport, with the number of flights to triple from last weekend.

"Western Australia is ready to take the next step forward," Premier Mark McGowan said.

"Our controlled interstate border is a cautious and safe step. It is balanced and sensible.

"The time is right."

People who have recently been in NSW or Victoria will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premises under the new "controlled border" regime.

They will also be required to undertake COVID-19 tests upon arrival and on day 11 of their quarantine period.

Arrivals from all other states and territories - deemed "very low risk" jurisdictions - will not be required to quarantine.

However, they must undergo health screening, a temperature check and complete an application declaring their recent travel.

WA implemented a hard border regime in early April, denying entry to anyone except required workers and the few individuals granted exemptions on compassionate grounds.

Police have warned that anyone failing to disclose recently travelling through NSW or Victoria faces a large fine or potentially even imprisonment.

The quarantine requirement for those states will only be removed once they go at least 28 days with no community spread, as all other jurisdictions have achieved.

Victoria has now gone 14 days with no new cases.

"It's not automatic that at 28 days, Victoria instantly becomes (lower-risk)," McGowan said.

"We'll take health advice closer to that date and make a decision based on the circumstances at that time."

Michael Ramsey in Perth