While Perth inches closer towards a return to pre-lockdown life, the premier has flagged that WA’s border with NSW could remain long term.

The news came after Mark McGowan confirmed a fourth day of no new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19.

At a press conference on Thursday, he said it was a “statement of the bleeding obvious” that WA will keep its border shut to NSW unless it brought a growing COVID-19 cluster under control.

“I’d say to the people of NSW: follow the rules,” he said, adding that the state needs to do what Victoria did last year to crush and kill the virus.

Earlier, Mr McGowan said he would consider a permanent hard border with NSW if the state decided to live with the virus instead of locking down, an idea that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian scoffed.

“At least he is consistent,” she said.

WA’s outbreak came after a physiotherapist contracted the virus at a Bondi cafe, then returned home and unwittingly infected others.

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Perth and Peel regions were plunged into a snap lockdown that lasted less than a week.

Some restrictions, including the use of masks, remain in place for now.

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