Western Australia delays planned reopening

The planned reopening of Western Australia has been suspended indefinitely to allow residents to get booster vaccinations, as the Omicron variant of Covid is spreading on the country’s east coast.

It had been hoped that double-vaccinated interstate and international travellers would be allowed to enter Western Australia without quarantine, from February 5.

The announcement that strict restrictions will remain prompted the Qantas Group to say that it is reviewing the timing of the reinstatement of its Heathrow-Perth route.

The service is currently operating via Darwin and had been set to return to Western Australia in late March 2022.

Tourism Western Australia said in a statement that the border rules are “in response to the ongoing impact of the Omicron variant on the east coast of Australia”.

The tourist board added: “We want to assure all our partners that we remain fully committed to the UK market, our partnerships and ensuring we support you with a clear path forward to restarting travel when the time is right.

“Future decisions on border controls will be reviewed over the course of the next month and we will be in touch with any updates as soon as we can.”

The Australian federal government is responsible for international arrivals and currently restricts travel to Australian citizens, permanent residents or those in an exempt category.

The Heathrow-Perth service launched in March 2018 but was axed as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Pictured: Perth, Western Australia.

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