Mark McGowan has vowed to stand by his tough border rules by demanding all Ashes players quarantine for 14 days as he bans their families from attending.
Perth is slated to host the fifth Ashes Test between the Australia and England cricket teams from January 14 at the 60,000 seat Optus Stadium.
While the WA Premier previously said he was confident the finale would proceed with ‘very strong measures’ the emergence of the Omicron variant has thrown the state’s reopening plans into disarray.
On Tuesday, Mr McGowan revealed cricketers will be required to quarantine for 14 days with wives and girlfriends to be banned from the highly-anticipated trip west.
Perth is slated to host the fifth Ashes Test between the Australia and England cricket teams from January 14 at the 60,000 seat Optus Stadium (pictured)
Staff members and the broadcast team will also be required to self-isolate for the same period throughout the entirety of the match.
This is after each vaccinated arrival has received an initial negative Covid test 72 hours before boarding a plane and a second negative result within 48 hours of entering the state.
‘We have put in place very strict rules,’ Mr McGowan said.
‘So we’ve said to them, ‘you need to have 14 days’ quarantine’. And that has to apply to all the broadcast staff, the cricket staff.
‘They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them – same rules as we put in place for the AFL. It’s up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not.’
WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews on Saturday said the prospect of Perth hosting the match had gone from 97 per cent to just 50 per cent.
Ms Matthews said it was the sheer size of the team that would complicate matters with the possibility of a shortened quarantine period vetoed by the premier.
It comes after Mr McGowan was tipped to relax quarantine rules for players just weeks before borders reopened to NSW, Victoria and the rest of the world.
On Tuesday, Mr McGowan revealed players wives and girlfriends to be banned from the trip west (pictured, Australian vice-caption Steve Smith with wife Dani Willis)
The premier has repeatedly refused to open his borders to other Australian states until 90 per cent of his 12-plus population is double-jabbed.
This vaccination milestone is earmarked for late January or early February.
Health Minister Greg Hunt previously hinted WA would reinstate travel with other states to coincide with the final test match in mid-January.
‘I want to see not just cricketers, but children reuniting with parents,’ Mr Hunt said.
‘I want the same rules for children and cancer and cardiac patients, as for cricketers.’
However, just days later Mr McGowan accused the federal government of ‘making things up’ over claims the state will bring forward reopening its borders.
‘He’s got a very vivid imagination. He hasn’t spoken to the health minister,’ Mr McGowan told reporters.
Quarantine rules were tipped to relax for players just weeks before the WA border reopened to NSW, Victoria and the rest of the world (pictured, a Test Match in Brisbane in 2017)
‘I just urge the commonwealth government to stop making things up. I don’t know why he would think that. He has no basis to say that.
‘We’ve put in place very strong measures over the course of the last two years for sporting teams and cricket needs to abide by it.’
The MCG is the strongest contender to take hosting rights of the highly-anticipated event in place of Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stuart Fox said a second pitch was already being prepared in case other states ‘get into trouble with a border closure’.
‘But we’re ready if we’re needed, and if Cricket Australia just accidentally made a phone call to us and said ‘we need you to host a second Test’ we’d be ready to go,’ Mr Fox told 3AW radio.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is also bracing itself to host the momentous event.
Mr McGowan (pictured) has hit back at claims WA will bring forward reopening its borders to coincide with Perth hosting the fifth Ashes Test from January 14
‘We’ve said to Cricket Australia that we’re here to help if they need it,’ the NSW Minister for tourism Stuart Ayres said.
Mr McGowan has finally unveiled the state’s roadmap out of the Covid-19 pandemic – becoming the last state in the country to do so.
Under the ultra-cautious plan, interstate and international travellers will remain banned from entry until late January or early February.
A transition date will be locked in once WA finally hits the 80 per cent double dose target, expected sometime in December.
As of Saturday, 75.2 per cent of Western Australians above the age of 12 have received two doses of a Covid vaccine.