West Australian authorities will consider further ramping up border restrictions for Victoria if more locally acquired coronavirus cases are detected.
A worsening outbreak of the virus in NSW has spread to Melbourne, where a cluster of cases has sent an apartment complex into lockdown.
It has prompted WA to reclassify Victoria as a “low risk” jurisdiction under its controlled border regime.
Travellers who have been in Victoria must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at a suitable premise and get tested twice during that period.
The change was enforced with immediate effect on Wednesday, catching some passengers aboard flights from Melbourne unaware.
NSW and Queensland are already categorised as medium-risk states, effectively locking out any non-exempt travellers.
Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson has warned Victoria could be placed in the same category if there is an escalation of its outbreak.
“While there has been a limited number of cases … we are aware that the people within those apartments particularly have been out and about in the community,” he told reporters.
“It will really depend over the next 24, 48 hours as to whether the spread has been contained or whether it is more widespread.”
About 4200 people had arrived in WA from Victoria since Friday.
Thursday night’s AFL game between Geelong and Fremantle at Optus Stadium is set to go ahead with no crowd restrictions.
Geelong players and officials were set to be placed under strict isolation and undergo COVID tests upon arrival on Wednesday.
WA this week further tightened exemptions for travellers from NSW, including those granted on compassionate grounds.
The latest travel advice states that WA residents wanting to enter from NSW “are not guaranteed right of entry” and must demonstrate extenuating circumstances.
Dr Robertson said they could include people who had very ill or dying family members or a spouse who was about to have a baby.
He warned there was no prospect of the restrictions being eased anytime soon.
“It’s going to take some time,” he said.
“Given we also require 14 days of no community cases before we can consider getting back to a very low risk, I think that would probably take us through August into September.”