Western Australia will keep its borders closed to Queensland until the state can ensure it has no COVID-19 community spread, Premier Mark McGowan says.
WA reintroduced a hard border for all of Queensland after a highly contagious UK coronavirus strain was detected in Greater Brisbane.
A three-day lockdown in Brisbane appears to have paid off, with no new cases of community transmission reported since Friday.
The lockdown will end on Monday night but some restrictions, including the mandatory use of face masks, will remain for the next 10 days.
Mr McGowan has praised the Queensland government’s handling of the outbreak but says that 10-day period will determine when the borders can reopen.
“Queensland doesn’t know if they have got community spread,” he told reporters on Monday.
“Opening and closing borders is obviously difficult. So before you open a border, you want to be absolutely sure so you don’t have to close it down again immediately.”
WA has previously required other states to go 28 days with no community transmission before reopening borders.
Mr McGowan said it would depend on health advice whether that protocol would apply to Queensland, which has had relatively few cases.
He said Queensland’s success in crushing its outbreak showed the need for NSW to apply harsher measures to control its own infection numbers.
“I just urge the NSW government… to look outside of NSW at what other states and territories are doing in order to crush and kill the virus,” he said.
“That’s a better approach. The idea that somehow it’s better to have the virus and then just manage it, I don’t think is the correct approach.”