Western Australia becomes first state to introduce tough new quarantine measures amid fears Covid-19 super-variant Omicron has arrived
- Australia closed borders to nine south Africa nations over new Covid-19 strain
- They include South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique
- There are 20 returned travellers from South Africa in the Northern Territory
- One of them has tested positive to Covid, not clear yet if case has new strain
Western Australia has slammed shut its border with South Australia in a reaction to fears over the new Omicron African variant of.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has blocked access to travellers from SAbecause of emerging concern over the new strain of the virus and recent cases of Delta in its neighbouring state.
The ruling means only double vaccinated South Australians can enter WA, where they must immediately go into quarantine for 14 days.
They must also undergo regular Covid-19 tests.
The move effectively means WA is treating visitors from SA the same as travellers from New South Wales, which it considers ‘high risk’.
There are fears the newly-named Omicron ‘super-variant’ is already in Australia, possibly via a via a repatriation flight from South Africa.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has ruled SA travellers to WA must be double-jabbed and need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days over fears about the emerging strain of Covid-19
On Saturday Australia closed its border to nine African nations including South Africa and Zimbabwe.
There are 20 returned travellers from South Africa in the Northern Territory and one has tested positive to Covid.
‘The new variant emerged in southern Africa and is now understood to have been detected in Europe, Asia and the Middle East,’ Mr McGowan said.
‘With little known about the variant, it is important we act with an abundance of caution in dealing with potential spread into WA from overseas travellers arriving in other States.
South Australia has recorded eight new Covid-19 infections in the past three days after registering just one in the preceding eight days.
Adelaide opened its border to New South Wales on November 23 for double-vaccinated travellers, raising concerns in WA, which has maintained a fierce Covid-zero strategy.
WA officially considers NSW to be ‘high risk’ under its controlled borders plan.
Travellers from NSW are not permitted to enter WA without approval.
If approved to enter WA, visitors from NSW must immediately self-quarantine in a ‘suitable premises’ for 14 days.
They must also received a negative Covid test result before leaving quarantine.
More to come
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