The controversial Covid-19 vaccine mandate in one state has been expanded, while border restrictions have also been tightened even further.

Workers in Western Australia who fall under the Covid-19 vaccine mandate must now also get a booster shot, Premier Mark McGowan has announced.

WA is the first jurisdiction to mandate the third dose and it will cover industries including aged care, health, quarantine staff, mining and essential workers.

The Premier said he also expected to eventually extend the mandate to anyone wanting to attend events, such as sport and concerts.

Mr McGowan said the change to WA’s vaccination program came because the picture that was starting to emerge as a result of the Omicron strain spreading in other states was troubling.

“Under the mandate, workers will now be required to have a third dose within one month of becoming eligible,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“Everyone is strongly urged to receive a third dose when eligible, even if they’re not covered by this policy.”

People can currently get a booster shot after five months but the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will soon decide on whether that timeframe will change.

The Premier said he wanted that timeframe shortened as much as possible.

Mr McGowan also announced WA would move to a hard border with the rest of the country from 12.01am on Boxing Day.

The Northern Territory and Tasmania will go from “low risk” to “medium risk”, which means travellers will need an exemption and must quarantine for 14 days.

Those jurisdictions will join Queensland, South Australia and the ACT as medium risk, while NSW and Victoria will remain “extreme risk”.

“These decisions have not been taken lightly,” Mr McGowan said.

“No one wants to stop families returning home to WA during the festive season. No one.

“But given the escalating crisis in other parts of Australia, and based on updated health advice, we have taken this step to protect West Australians and stop any spread of the virus into our community.”

WA was still on track to reopen its border on February 5 “barring a catastrophe”, the Premier added.

Mr McGowan also revealed a Brisbane couple who tested positive on Tuesday had at least 35 close contacts but the public health risk was “very low”.

The couple, aged in their 30s, arrived in Perth on December 19 and were self-quarantining at a home with four relatives who had so far tested negative.

Of the 35 close contacts identified, 23 had so far tested negative. A further 104 casual contacts have also been identified.

Exposure sites include a 7/11 in Midland. The full list can be found here.

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