South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has called for Western Australia to lift its remaining travel restrictions with SA and has questioned the WA leader’s decision to dodge a face-to-face meeting in Canberra.
Mr Marshall planned to speak with WA Premier Mark McGowan about the coronavirus travel measures on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s national cabinet meeting.
But the WA premier has decided against attending the gathering in person, citing health advice against mixing with residents of SA, instead he’s expected to attend by video link.
“We have no active cases in our state whatsoever, that’s quite a contrast to Western Australia – I think they have more than a dozen active cases,” Mr Marshall said before adding he’d leave it up to Mr McGowan “to explain where he’s getting his health advice from.”
This week, WA lifted travel rules for people coming from NSW and Victoria after declaring the “very low risk” of those states.
From Friday, SA travellers will no longer require exemptions to enter WA, although they will still need to enter self-quarantine.
The isolation requirement will only be lifted when SA goes 28 days with no new cases.
The measures were initially imposed in response to Adelaide’s Parafield COVID-19 cluster which grew quickly to 33 cases.
SA Health reported no new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, leaving the total since the start of the pandemic at 562.
There are no active infections and the number of close contacts of the Parafield cluster still in quarantine has dropped to just five.
But health officials believe it is now under control.
Mr Marshall said SA had done “fantastic job”.
“I think all the other premiers and chief ministers have made it really clear, they think South Australia has done a fantastic job – I think South Australia’s done a fantastic job,” he said.
“I think it’s now time for Mark McGowan to lift that border restriction with our state.”
WA has 13 active cases – all are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.