Victorians will no longer need to quarantine in a hotel facility upon arrival in Western Australia from October 5 after a softening of restrictions for arrivals to the state that also includes new rules for NSW.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the changes on Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters returned travellers from Victoria can self-quarantine elsewhere for 14 days “as long as they have an appropriate premise to quarantine in safely”.
Residents in NSW will also be allowed but only essential travel will be permitted.
But there is still a catch — the Victorian traveller must still have an exemption — but they will be able to isolate at home from next Monday if approved.
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Victorians or people from Victoria will be tested on arrival into Perth and again on day 11 of their 14 days of quarantine.
The state government launched a new app on Tuesday designed for interstate arrivals quarantining at home to ease the pressure on quarantine hotels.
“Like everyone coming into Western Australia, we strongly encourage and ask these people to download and use the new G2G Now app,” Mr McGowan said.
“The incentive to download the app is you’ll not need to have police physically checking in on you as regularly.”
The app, formally launched in Western Australia Tuesday, will allow police to check on people remotely while they’re in self-quarantine.
Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson says police have visited around 50,000 people in self quarantine since the pandemic began.
“This app will use mobile location data and facial recognition technology to pinpoint exactly where the person is in real time,” he said.
Mr McGowan said it’s a “significant but reasonable change” that “will help ease the demand of our hotel quarantine arrangements as our number of international arrivals of Australians returning home is expected to gradually increase over coming weeks”.
Despite the dropping of hotel quarantine, Victorians coming into Western Australia will still need to apply for an exemption to enter the state.
For Victorians hoping to head around Australia, options are pretty limited. In order to enter another state or territory, you need to meet one of three criteria: holding an exemption, being an essential worker or living along a state border.
The decision to drop hotel quarantine in Western Australia came as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared he would not be stepping down over his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
“I indicated the other day I don’t run from challenges. I don’t run from problems. I’m not someone who quits to avoid doing the hard work that needs to be done,” he said.