Bookings for flights to Perth from around the country skyrocketed as soon as Premier Mark McGowan announced February 5 as WA’s “freedom day.”
Airlines are putting on extra flights to cope with the demand.
When Fortress WA falls on February 5, the first flights from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney will land just minutes after the clock strikes midnight.
As soon as the date was set, Virgin Australia’s bookings from the east coast boomed by more than 400 per cent.
Victorians are the most eager to fly west, with a 760 per cent rise in one day.
International flight plans are taking off too.
The Qantas direct Perth to London route and the Perth to Singapore routes will resume on March 27.
That means freedom for double-vaccinated travellers who follow the testing rules.
When arriving back in WA, travellers will be required to take a PCR test at their own expense before returning.
The average cost of a PCR test is around $150.
If the test comes back positive, the traveller must isolate where they are until they are recovered.
If the result is negative, they can return to WA, where they will need to take another PCR test within 48 hours at a GP, pathology lab or existing clinic.
That second test would not be at the traveller’s expense, unlike the first.
While flying is back, it appears cruising isn’t, because of a national biosecurity ban on ships carrying more than 100 passengers.
“Cruising has started all over the world – there’s only really Australia now that has the ban on cruising,” says Carole Smethurst from Bicton Travel.
The news is better for events.
From Billie Eilish to Guns ‘n Rose, there are some big international acts planning to perform in Perth next year.
The set date now gives more promoters the confidence to include the west coast in their tour diaries as WA prepares to rejoin the country – and the world.