Western Australia has eased some COVID-19 restrictions and will wind back widespread vaccine mandates as the state continues to lead the nation in third-dose jab rates.
From Wednesday, unvaccinated returning Australians and permanent residents are no longer required to quarantine for seven days and the weekly cap of 70 people no longer applies.
From June 10, WA’s mandatory vaccination policy will be eased with a requirement for three jabs to be limited to healthcare workers in hospitals and primary healthcare settings, residential aged care and residential disability settings.
The June 10 date allows the public and private sectors time to manage the changes and is expected to result in about 500 public sector employees returning to work.
From June 15, restrictions on access to remote Aboriginal communities will also be scrapped although mask-wearing, proof of vaccination and visitor limits in certain settings will remain.
Among statewide restrictions to stay in place, COVID-positive people are still required to isolate for seven days and get tested, and close contacts must wear masks and take a daily rapid antigen test.
Premier Mark McGowan said WA’s high vaccination rate had allowed the easing of restrictions.
On the latest federal government statistics, 83.3 per cent of eligible people across the state have received a third dose, with the ACT the next best on 78.3 per cent.
“WA’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination rates are something we can all be proud of,” Mr McGowan said.
“They were crucial in delivering our soft landing and have meant we significantly reduced the number of serious illnesses and hospitalisations, kept people out of ICU and limited the number of COVID-19 deaths.
“We’re still in the midst of this Omicron wave, and coupled with this upcoming flu season it’s vital people take every precaution, follow the health advice, keep up mask-wearing as necessary, ensure they are up to date with the COVID-19 and flu vaccines and maintain handwashing and sanitising.
“We need to be vigilant, especially as we’re getting into the colder months and people are now travelling more.”
Meanwhile, WA Opposition Leader Mia Davies confirmed on Wednesday that she had contracted COVID-19.
“After developing symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test this morning which has shown a positive result,” Ms Davies said in a statement.
“I will isolate for the next seven days, I encourage anyone who I visited in the past 48 hours to get tested and monitor for symptoms.”
WA reported 8452 new infections on Wednesday along with one death.
There are 298 in hospital including eight in ICU.