• Wadjemup aka Rottnest Island is being prepared by the State Government as a a quarantine zone for people who can't or won't quarantine. (NITV/ Rangi Hirini)Source: NITV/ Rangi Hirini
The state government ramps up its measures to protect West Australians, declaring Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) a quarantine zone as the total confirmed coronavirus cases climbs over 100.
Rangi Hirini

23 Mar 2020 - 2:31 PM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2020 - 2:35 PM

The West Australian government has announced that Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) will be transformed into a COVID-19 quarantine zone as the state government moves to officially close its borders by Tuesday afternoon.

On Sunday, Premier Mark McGowan announced anyone arriving in the state by land, sea, or air, will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days with the exemption for essential services and essential workers. 

Like other state's and territories, any interstate travellers have been ordered to self-isolate for a period of 14 days as the government puts in place serious measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“West Australians are fronting a war, one we have never experienced before,” Premier Mark McGowan told a press conference on Monday.

Mr McGowan acknowledged that the pandemic was confronting and tough but urged West Australians to listen to the advise and follow the rules.

As of Monday morning, The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state sat at 140, as of publication on Monday, with as 20 new cases confirmed overnight.


The state government is looking at potentially using Wadjemup-Rottnest Island as a COVID-19 quarantine zone. 

On Monday, Mr McGowan said the island is currently being cleared as the state government prepares to transform it into a quarantine zone.  

Wadjemup is a culturally and historically significant site for Aboriginal people.

For the Noongar-Whadjuk people the island is known as the resting place of the spirits on their journey to the afterlife.

The island was also used as an Aboriginal prison between 1839-1904, and became a forced labour camp until 1931. Wadjemup is considered to be the largest deaths in custody site in the nation after 373 unmarked graves were discovered there in the 1980s.

NITV News has reached out to the Rottnest Island Authority for comment.

More to come.