Western Australia will implement a hard border with South Australia from midday today.
The State will be transitioned to “medium risk”, joining NSW and Victoria in this category.
Under the tough new restrictions, travellers will have to secure an exemption before coming to WA, and will have to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive.
Premier Mark McGowan conceded the decision was “very hard” for many people, but insisted it was the only option.
“The whole country has cases in the community, except here and Tasmania and the Northern Territory,” he said.
“It’s a very worrying time, a very worrying time.
“We have got to do everything we can to keep it (the virus) out.”
The Premier said one flight was scheduled to arrive in WA from South Australia this afternoon, with 87 people onboard.
This number will likely drop “significantly”’ as people change their travel plans, Mr McGowan said.
The 87 people onboard the flight arriving today will be treated compassionately, Health Minister Roger Cook said.
He defended the border decision, however, warning that the virus could spread “like a bushfire”.
“The Delta variant changes how we respond to this disease and means we have to be much faster with our actions,” he said.
The situation on the east coast continues to deteriorate, with NSW reporting 124 cases this morning. 48 of those were active in the community during their infectious period.
WA now has a hard border in place with South Australia, NSW, Queensland and Victoria as each of those State’s grapple with outbreaks of the virus.
More to come.