The Western Australian Government has put in place a number of travel restrictions to limit the spread of human coronavirus and protect people living in remote Aboriginal communities.
As of 26 March 2020, access has been restricted to the following areas:
· Kimberley (comprising all four local government areas) · Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
Parts of the Shire of East Pilbara that encompass the communities of: Jigalong Martu homeland communities Kiwirrkurra.
These arrangements were made using emergency powers under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).
The need for people to self-isolate outside the designated area for 14 days is a key strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, on 7 April 2020 a number of amendments were made to the Biosecurity Determination 2020 to further protect some of our most vulnerable members of society.
Under the updated Determination, from Monday, 13 April 2020 all people must self-isolate for 14 days prior to entering a biosecurity designated area, including returning residents and people performing an essential activity. Exceptions apply where there is an urgent need to perform an essential activity, or other exceptional circumstances.
Another key amendment is the inclusion of commercial food production as an essential activity if it is being undertaken in a manner agreed with a human biosecurity officer. This mirrors the existing clause for mining activity.
A copy of the Determination is available at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00324; and amendments is available at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00415
The Entry into Designated Biosecurity Areas form has been updated and is available at the following link: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/restricted-travel-designated-regional-areas.
We are working with WA Police, the Department of Communities, Health and industry to ensure that communities continue to receive essential services, while also ensuring that people are protected from COVID-19.