South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has called for Western Australia to lift its remaining travel restrictions with SA and questioned the WA leader’s decision to dodge a face-to-face meeting in Canberra.
Mr Marshall planned to speak with WA Premier Mark McGowan about the coronavirus travel measures on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s national cabinet meeting.
But the WA premier has decided against attending the gathering in person, citing health advice against mixing with residents of SA.
He is expected to attend by video link.
Mr Marshall said he would leave it up to Mr McGowan to “explain his logic”.
“The reality is every other state and the other chief ministers have advice on South Australia’s health and they will all be at the national cabinet meeting,” the premier said.
“South Australia expects to have 12 days of no new cases when we report later today and we have no active cases in our state whatsoever.
“So it doesn’t make a lot of logical sense, but I’ll leave it up to Mark McGowan to explain the advice that he’s received.”
WA this week lifted travel rules for people coming from NSW and Victoria after declaring the states “very low risk”.
From Friday, SA travellers will no longer require exemptions to enter WA, although they will still need to enter self-quarantine.
The measures were initially imposed in response to Adelaide’s Parafield COVID-19 cluster which grew quickly to 33 cases.
But health officials believe it is now under control.
Mr Marshall said SA had done an outstanding job in staring down a potential second wave of infections.
“If anything, the Parafield cluster has demonstrated to the rest of the country how you can stare down a second wave, act decisively in line with health advice and move back to a situation with very few restrictions as soon as possible,” he said.
“It’s now time for Mr McGowan to lift the border restriction with that state.”
From next week, SA will ease a range of local restrictions imposed last month, including allowing up to 50 people at household gatherings and Christmas celebrations.
Patrons in pubs and restaurants will also be allowed to consume drinks while standing up while the size of funerals and weddings will rise to 200.
The capacity in entertainment venues, such as theatres of cinemas, will increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, provided people are wearing face masks.