Premier Mark McGowan hasn’t ruled out bringing back WA’s controlled border for NSW amid a COVID-19 cluster developing in Sydney.
Three new coronavirus cases were identified on Thursday morning, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to six, with authorities scrambling to identify the source.
With just over a week until Christmas, Mr McGowan admits it’s not ideal to reimpose restrictions for NSW but will hold a State Emergency Committee meeting later today to suss out the extent of what’s happening.
“I realise that would be very upsetting, very upsetting for many people,” he told reporters in Perth.
“But if the medical advice says that’s what we need to do to protect Western Australia, we will do it. And we will do it immediately.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned Mr McGowan against doing so, pointing to consumer confidence falling when South Australia had a strict lockdown for a few days.
“That is the one thing that dents confidence, if you have stop-start restrictions, lockdowns or border closures,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“Australia is opening up and the recovery is underway.”
Meanwhile, Scott Morrison is confident premiers won’t rush to close state borders again, saying that Australians are happy the country is open.
“I think Australians are going to work hard to keep it that way, and I think premiers and chief ministers are very keen to achieve that as well,” he told reporters.
Authorities are starting to link the cases together but are yet to discover the source of the infections.
More detailed scientific analysis of the cases is expected by Thursday evening.