Tough Vaccination Rules Come Into Effect in Western Australia

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West Australians (WA) who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are being denied entry to most public venues as tough new rules come into effect.

From Monday, proof of double-dose vaccination is 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 applies to any non-exempt person aged 16 and above and has been implemented across the state.

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

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

WA is the last jurisdiction to reduce the waiting period, which Premier Mark McGowan attributed to capacity issues at state-run vaccine clinics.

The premier has cited the need to improve WA’s booster rate, currently at 34 per cent, as a key reason for delaying the reopening of borders.

West Australians remain in the dark about when the borders will open, or when new close contact rules will come into effect.

Under WA’s revised definitions, close contacts will include household members, intimate partners or anyone who has had 15 minutes of face-to-face contact or spent two hours in a room with an infectious case while unmasked.

The new definitions will only come into effect once “high daily caseloads” are recorded in the community.

At that point, positive cases and their close contacts will only need to isolate for seven days, rather than 14, unless they remain symptomatic.

Mr McGowan did not provide a threshold for the “high caseload”, saying existing definitions would remain in place for now despite growing Omicron case numbers.

The lack of certainty has been criticised by businesses and Opposition Leader Mia Davies, who accused the premier of inciting fear and anxiety in the community.

AAP

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Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.



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