Rottnest Island reopens to visitors as Phase 3 of COVID-19 roadmap commences
Rottnest Island has today reopened to visitors as the State enters Phase 3 of the Western Australian roadmap, allowing Western Australians to once again holiday at the loved local destination.
Rottnest has been utilised as part of the State Government’s COVID-19 response, with the last group of 200 people who underwent quarantine on the island departing on May 13.
The State Government announced last Friday, May 29, the island would again open to tourists as part of Phase 3 of the WA roadmap.
Rottnest Island Authority and the island’s business community have since been preparing for visitors’ return in accordance with COVID-19 requirements.
This has included the development of COVID-19 Safety Plans and the installation of signage and hand sanitiser stations on the island.
In the week since the reopening was confirmed, Rottnest Island Authority has taken over 1,800 bookings – with even more expected to visit the island as day-trippers or in other accommodation.
Rottnest Island has enjoyed record-breaking visitation in recent years – with over three quarters of a million people visiting the destination in 2018-19.
The redevelopment of the Rottnest Island Hotel is on track for its September opening, and Fremantle company Total AMS has begun work on the $3 million Fuel Jetty upgrade.
The jetty project will create 40 jobs for electricians, plumbers, fuel specialists, engineers, surveyors and divers.
It will provide improved facilities, better accessibility, new finger jetties, enhanced amenities for smaller vessels, and a new multi-level landing platform with disability access. The project is expected to be completed by November 2020.
Further maintenance and greening programs are ongoing in South Thomson and Bathurst.
“Rottnest played an important role in our response to COVID-19 – but from today it returns to its rightful place as one of WA’s most loved tourism spots,” said Tourism Minister Paul Papalia.
“I’d like to thank the island’s business community in particular for their understanding and patience over this difficult period.
“Rottnest has become one of WA’s must-do destinations for visitors from all around the world – but for now Western Australians have our little piece of paradise all to ourselves.
“With over 1,800 accommodation bookings made since the reopening was announced a week ago, its clear Rottnest is as popular as ever among Western Australians.
“The Rottnest Island Hotel redevelopment has been progressing well and the much-needed Fuel Jetty upgrades are now underway.
“For those who haven’t been for some time, take this opportunity to come and see how far the island has come in recent years, and why tourists from all over the world have been visiting in record numbers.
“Now’s the time to renew acquaintances with the happiest animal on the planet.”
State Member for Fremantle, Simone McGurk said, “I know Freo folk have missed hoping over to Rotto throughout the past few months.
“With our strong border measures keeping WA safe during the pandemic, I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to visit and rediscover Rottnest.”