COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
1 April 2020
Three levels of travel restrictions have been successively introduced in Western Australia to stop the spread of COVID-19 to and within the State:
· Intrastate - restrictions on travel between the State’s designated regions;
· Interstate - restrictions enforced at the WA state and territory borders; and,
· Commonwealth/State - restrictions affecting the Kimberley and remote Aboriginal communities.
Some of these restrictions contain important exemptions for primary production as set out below.
Intrastate - Travel Restrictions
· Restrictions on travel between regions within the State are now in effect to protect Western Australians from the COVID-19 threat.
· These restrictions came into effect from 11:59 on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Exemptions to the intrastate travel ban include:
· Travel for work purposes
· To transport freight
· To attend medical appointments
· To attend school or an educational institution where necessary
· To those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
· Catering for family members
· Compassionate grounds
Agriculture, food production or other primary industry are considered an ‘essential service’ and are therefore eligible for an exemption. Importantly, freight will continue to operate and is permitted to travel through regional boundaries.
Individuals seeking to travel across regional boundaries should travel with appropriate identification and evidence that they meet the categories exempted, e.g. a letter / email / or document such as a CFL supporting legitimate travel.
Travellers are urged to be patient and follow the instructions of Checkpoint officers.
DPIRD is working with WA Police to establish an online service so relevant businesses and travellers can obtain Temporary Travel Permits to clarify the authority and conditions for travel. Importantly, the permits will allow fast-tracking through boundary check-points to help minimise congestion. More details to follow as new information comes to hand.
· Regions are as defined by the boundaries of the State’s nine Regional Development Commissions with Perth and Peel being combined into one region given proximity and integrated nature of the two regions.
· These restrictions are a State Government directive under the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) and are being enforced by WA Police.
Interstate -Travel Restrictions
· Under a State of Emergency declaration, a Direction was enforced from 1:30pm on 24/3/2020 to restrict WA borders to limit the spread of COVID-19.
· This Direction applies to all travellers via road, sea, air and rail.
· All non-essential interstate travel should be avoided.
· Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate are ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
Exemptions for essential services and workers apply to:
· freight and logistics services into and out of Western Australia
· people with specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries and businesses, including those employed or engaged in agricultural or primary industries including licensed fishers who are required to be physically present in WA.
This provision ensures agricultural production and food supplies, such as fresh produce, meat, fish, processed products and livestock, can continue to be transported.
Police Officers and Responsible Officers will provide instructions to essential service providers about the principles they will need to follow. Travellers are urged to be patient and follow the instructions of Checkpoint officers.
Use the link below to read the fact sheet from the WA Government website;
Otherwise a direct link to the detailed travel restrictions direction document is available here.
Commonwealth/State Restrictions - Travel Restrictions
· Border restrictions are now in place to access designated regions within WA, including the Kimberley (comprising all four local government areas); the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, and parts of the Shire of East Pilbara encompassing the communities of Jigalong, Martu homeland communities and Kiwirrkurra.
· These arrangements have been put in place through agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments.
· Commonwealth Biosecurity zones are given effect through the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Determination 2020
· This is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 into our very vulnerable communities, which could have catastrophic consequence
· Under these arrangements, after 9pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, any person who is outside the designated regions can only enter them if that person:
* is providing essential services or supplies; or
*has been quarantined from the general public for the previous 14 days
· The State Government has today approved an interim ‘Special Permission’ exemption for food production workers subject to strict conditions that minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread while ensuring food production workers can get on with the essential job of providing the food our State needs.
· The exemption is effective immediately. Further detail on operation of the exemption will be provided to industry shortly.
See the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Lands’ media release for more information.
The full detail of directions for regional travel are available at the wa.gov.au website.