West Australians who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are being denied entry to most public venues as the virus spreads to the Pilbara mining sector.

BHP has confirmed about 80 workers are isolating at its Spinifex village in the state’s north after a rail contractor tested positive while on site.

The contractor had returned a negative rapid antigen test last Tuesday before flying to the site, which services BHP’s Yandi mine.

They felt unwell on Sunday and subsequently returned a positive PCR test.

The contractor will undergo further testing but faces 14 days isolation at the accommodation camp under WA’s strict quarantine laws.

“We are working with the WA Health Department to conduct further contact tracing, and undertaking deep cleaning across the impacted site and accommodation village,” a BHP spokesperson said on Monday.

“BHP has had strong controls in place throughout the pandemic to support the health and safety of our people and the community, while maintaining safe ongoing operations. We will continue to review and adapt these measures as the pandemic evolves.”


BHP has warned investors it expects short-term disruption to its operating environment in WA as the Omicron variant spreads across the state.

A contractor has also returned a positive PCR test at 29Metals’ Golden Grove copper and zinc mine, about 450km northeast of Perth.

A spokesman said the contractor would isolate on site for 14 days but was no longer showing symptoms. All close contacts have so far tested negative.

WA Health reported 42 new local cases over the weekend with the majority linked to a Perth nightclub cluster.

Proof of double-dose vaccination is now required at all hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and fast-food outlets for dine-in customers.

It is also needed for visitors to public and private hospitals and aged care facilities, indoor entertainment venues including play centres, casinos and cinemas, gyms and fitness centres, the zoo, Crown casino, amusement parks and even bottleshops.


The requirement, which came into effect overnight, applies to any non-exempt person aged 16 and above and has been implemented across the state.

Customers who threaten or intimidate staff who ask for proof of vaccination face up to 12 months’ jail or a $50,000 fine.

Teachers and other education staff are also required to be double-dose vaccinated to work in schools as kids return to classrooms on Monday.

Education Minister Sue Ellery said about 90 staff were yet to provide proof of vaccination and there was a teacher in front of every classroom in public schools.

The gap between second and third vaccine doses has been reduced to three months in another change that came into effect overnight.

Premier Mark McGowan has cited the need to improve WA’s booster rate, currently at 34 per cent, as a key reason for keeping the borders closed.


No date has been provided for the reopening, or for the implementation of new close contact rules which would reduce quarantine periods to seven days.


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