United Kingdom
This article was added by the user Anna. TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Mark McGowan takes swipe at Dan Andrews over Victoria's Covid restrictions

Mark McGowan has again bragged about how open and free Western Australia is to justify keeping the borders closed until as late as June 2022.

The stubborn premier argued he doesn't want to impose the same tight restrictions as the east coast for the Christmas break.

Mr McGowan said despite Victoria's high vaccination rate, which is on track to reach 80 per cent, the state 'hasn't really opened up' compared to WA.

Mark McGowan (pictured) has ruled out opening up Western Australia's borders before Summer arguing he doesn't want to have the same tight restrictions as the east coast for the Christmas break

'Their version of opening up is not what we would consider opening up,' he told reporters on Thursday.

'I think their version of opening up is all sorts of restrictions and mask wearing, retail shops still being closed, limits on the number of people who can go to each home, and limits on gatherings and all that sort of stuff.

'Their version of opening up is our version of extreme restrictions.'

The rest of Australia's states and territories have announced when they will open their borders to domestic travellers, Mr McGowan has remained tight-lipped amid suggestions the state is targeting a February reopening.

The premier is faces growing pressure to reveal when WA will abandon border closures and open to NSW and Victoria.

Perth radio 6PR reported WA would rejoin the rest of the nation on February 1, triggering an eight-week period of restrictions including venue capacity limits.

Mr McGowan said despite the high vaccination rates which are on track to reach 80 per cent, Victoria 'hasn't really opened up' compared to WA, which has far more freedoms. Pictured: Revellers at a pub in Perth's Scarborough beach

Mr McGowan is still refusing to narrow the timeline other than to say it will be after the summer school holidays and in the first half of the year.

'Those decisions haven't been made,' he told reporters on Thursday.

WA's business community has urged the government to provide certainty amid ongoing labour shortages and declining confidence in the regions.

The premier has countered that argument by saying retailers and hospitality businesses are better off being able to operate without restrictions over Christmas.

WA's borders are open to travellers from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory but the resumption of widespread domestic travel in coming months could prompt a return to isolation for the festive season.

Mr McGowan said he would not apologise for being cautious as Victoria on Thursday recorded 1,923 new local coronavirus infections and 25 deaths.

Victoria on Thursday recorded 1923 new local coronavirus infections and 25 deaths. Pictured: Melbourne's CBD

'The lesson out of Victoria today is we're not out of this yet,' he said.

'It goes to show that the virus remains deadly to many people and we need to continue to be cautious and careful.'

He said 'even with high levels of vaccination, like they have, people die'.

Mr McGowan promised to provide further clarity on the state's reopening plans once WA's vaccination rate for 12-year-olds and over exceeds 80 per cent.

The premier last week outlined mandatory vaccination requirements for most of the state's workforce, including a January 31 deadline which would coincide with the end of the school holidays and potential reopening of borders.