Travellers have been warned of the potential for significant delays at Perth Airport from this weekend as police brace for the prospect of being “overwhelmed” by thousands of extra interstate passengers when WA’s hard border is relaxed.
Key points:WA’s border changes are set to see passenger numbers “at least double”Passengers are urged to submit G2G PASS travel registrations before arrivingQantas and Virgin plan to add services while Jetstar will resume flights
From this Saturday, November 14, Western Australia’s border restrictions will ease so that only people travelling from New South Wales and Victoria will be required to complete 14 days’ quarantine.
But anyone arriving in WA will still be required to electronically register their travel arrangements and answer a series of questions via the “G2G PASS” app.
Passengers will also be subjected to temperature checks on arrival.
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WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said if passengers did not complete their electronic travel registration before arriving at Perth Airport, they would have to be processed manually, something that would create “long queues and congestion.”
“If you’re traveling, get online, get your G2G PASS application sorted before you get on the plane,” he told ABC Radio Perth.
“I don’t want police and/or health [authorities] to be overwhelmed by people’s inability to plan ahead.”
But the G2G PASS app has not yet been updated to accommodate the change in border arrangements and registration requirements for interstate travellers.
“It’s certainly due this week,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
Premier Mark McGowan says the G2G PASS app is set to be updated.(ABC News: James Carmody)
He said the updated app would require travellers from Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory to disclose whether they had been to Victoria or New South Wales, had knowingly mixed with anyone from those states or had been unwell.
Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from November 10 in our coronavirus blog.Passenger numbers set to ‘at least double’
Perth Airport said at this stage only two flights were due to arrive in Perth on November 14, one from Sydney and one from Brisbane.
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But it said the full schedule of flights for subsequent days would not be finalised until later this week.
Commissioner Dawson said police were expecting the number of passengers through Perth Airport to “at least double” once the border restrictions were eased.
“So that will mean an extra 3,500 people to process,” he said.
A Qantas spokesman said the airline was currently operating an average of three flights a day between WA and other capital cities, and that would increase to an average of nine flights a day in the week after the relaxation of the border restrictions.
Low-airfare carrier Jetstar will also recommence flights from Perth for the first time since March, with services to Cairns and Adelaide starting in the last week of November.
Virgin Australia said it was adding extra flights between Adelaide-Perth and Brisbane-Perth from November 22.
By mid-December, twice-daily services would be operating on the Brisbane-Perth route, with daily services between Adelaide-Perth.
Victoria, NSW rules ‘continually assessed’
Commissioner Dawson said remaining restrictions on travellers from Victoria and New South Wales were being “continually assessed”.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has called for airline passengers to plan ahead.(ABC News: James Carmody)
The WA Health Minister Roger Cook said it was encouraging to see both states record consecutive days of zero cases.
Restrictions in Melbourne and across Victoria have been eased significantly.(ABC News: Billy Draper)
But he said the WA Government was still monitoring how they were managing the easing of restrictions, as well as a number of mystery cases in New South Wales.
“The efforts of the Victorian Government to get this second wave under control are extraordinary and they’re to be absolutely congratulated,” he said.
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