Western Australia has slammed its border shut to NSW after the number of coronavirus infections linked to a Sydney outbreak grew to 31.
The reintroduction of the hard border came into immediate effect on Wednesday, reclassifying NSW as a “medium-risk” jurisdiction.
Travel from anywhere in NSW is no longer permitted except for exempt travellers including senior government officials, active military personnel, federal politicians and freight workers.
Exemptions may also be granted on compassionate grounds including for West Australians who need to return home.
Those travellers must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and present for two coronavirus tests during that period.
The edict applies to anyone who has been in NSW since 12.01am on June 11, including those who have since travelled through other jurisdictions including the ACT.
“Naturally these immediate changes will cause inconvenience but the hard border is necessary to protect the health of Western Australians,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“I want to thank everyone for their understanding.”
People who arrived from NSW prior to the hard border should continue to comply with existing directions, including 14 days’ quarantine for anyone who has visited exposure sites.
NSW recorded 13 new cases on Wednesday, eight of whom attended a weekend birthday party which has been labelled a “super-spreader event”.
The so-called Bondi cluster now stands at 31 after an unvaccinated Sydney airport limousine driver last week tested positive to the highly infectious Delta variant, which quickly started spreading at a busy shopping centre.
Residents who live or work in seven local government areas cannot travel outside the metropolitan area unless it’s absolutely essential.
Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand have also imposed bans on travel from much of Sydney.
Mr McGowan has indicated WA’s quarantine restrictions for Victorians are likely to soon be eased given that state’s outbreak has largely been contained.