Hardline premier Mark McGowan has confirmed Western Australia will likely remain closed off from the rest of the country for another seven months, as he predicts international travel will also be off the cards until September 2022.
Mr McGowan previously said he wouldn't allow interstate travel to or from WA until more than 80 per cent of locals are fully vaccinated - but was yet to confirm when he expects that target to be reached.
He has since declared the domestic border could remain shut until April 2022, while boasting that the international travel ban - which has seen thousands of Australians stranded abroad and even more locked in their own country - has been good for his economy.
The Covid-zero premier said he will wait until his state reaches between 80 and 90 per cent vaccination rates to open up, saying it must also stay coronavirus-free.
Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) said his state won't open the border until likely April next year - and only if 80-90 per cent of the state are fully-vaccinated
Western Australia faces being cut off from the rest of the country long after international travel returns to other states
'Somewhere above 80 per cent we'll try and set the date. I don't know whether it'll be February, March or April, I suspect it will be one of those months,' he told The West Australian on Wednesday.
His government won't commit to pinning down the date to open the border because they're unsure how quickly the majority of WA's famously parochial residents will roll up their sleeves for the jab.
Western Australia - along with Queensland - is currently lagging behind the rest of the country in the vaccine rollout with about 36 per cent of residents fully-jabbed.
Even once the 80 per cent milestone is reached Mr McGowan confirmed he will still keep families apart for another month-and-half to two months before he removes the border restrictions.
Mr McGowan also ridiculed comments by federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who said his hardline stance on border closures would mean Australians would be able to travel to Canada before they could get to Perth.
Perth has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country at about 36 per cent of people fully jabbed (pictured, residents in the city's CBD in June during a previous snap lockdown)Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The WA border has remained shut for much of 2020 and 2021 to the rest of Australia (pictured, an empty Perth airport in January)
SHOULD WA OPEN ITS BORDERS THIS YEAR?Yes - it's been too long 0 votes No - they want to stay Covid-free 0 votes
Now share your opinion
'I am not that worried about it. I don't understand why