eNews - 1 April 2020 - COVID-19 Regional Travel Restrictions

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The SSTUWA has been advised by the Department of Education that the State Government under State of Emergency powers has imposed regional travel restrictions across Western Australia from midnight Tuesday 31 March 2020.

The Department of Education, with SSTUWA support, sought blanket exemptions for educators but has been advised by the police that broad exemptions will not be possible.

This means that while principals and teachers (State, Catholic and Independent Schools) who are still working on site can go to and from their place of work (for example from the Great Southern to the South West), on a daily basis, this will not be permitted once workplaces shutdown for the holidays. Education Act staff will be required to remain in the region in which they reside for the duration of the holiday break.

This has obvious implications for regionally based principals and teachers who had hoped to return to the metropolitan area for the holiday period or indeed to any region in WA other than where they are currently teaching.

Exemptions may apply for:

  • people travelling to work
  • attending medical appointments
  • transporting freight
  • those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
  • returning to a place of residence
  • attending school or an educational institution where necessary
  • caring for family members
  • compassionate grounds

Check points and mobile police patrols will be in place to monitor travel across boundaries and ensure people are doing the right thing.

People are encouraged, where possible, to assist police by preparing documentation, such as a letter/email/SMS from an employer, to support their legitimate travel.

Police have the power to enforce these restrictions, and issue fines of up to $50,000.

The SSTUWA realises the stress and anxiety this will cause some of our members. However, these are directives from the WA Police under state of emergency legislation and they apply to ALL people living in WA.

Members within a valid exemption category should check the full state government advice and list of regions that can be found here.