West Australian Premier Mark McGowan. Image: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

Will Omicron Force A Double Backflip For WA?

For the last two years, Western Australia has been able to dodge any real outbreaks of Covid thanks to Premier Mark McGowan shutting the state’s border, only letting a handful of people in or out since the pandemic began. 

But with the highly transmissible Omicron variant showing up in the community this month, it looks quite possible that an outbreak is looming.

In response, Mark McGowan suddenly decided to ditch the Feb 5 reopening and shut WA’s border indefinitely. But with 131 active cases in the community, many are wondering is it too little too late for that?

Jenna Clarke is an Associate Editor at The Australian newspaper and host of The Front Page Sky News. She says many West Aussies are starting to come to terms with the fact that they can’t keep Covid out any longer. 

“I think we’ve all resigned ourselves to the fact that things are going to change drastically when the border opens. I think people just want certainty and he took away that certainty in that late night press conference last week.”

Jenna Clarke

Rather than a hard border, Clarke believes the government needs to make up for two years procrastinating how to manage Covid and finally start preparing for an Omicron outbreak.