(Image: Gorkie/Private Media)

Perth, Australia’s most isolated city, has locked out the rest of the country and the rest of the world for the better part of two years. With the harshest travel restrictions in the country, Western Australia has repeatedly shut its borders, leaving family and friends stranded apart. 

As Premier Mark McGowan said when the restrictions were introduced in March 2020: “We will be turning Western Australia into its own island, within an island -- our own country.”

As a result, the state has become a strange lab experiment. One of the only places in the world where COVID-19 hasn’t spread like wildfire, the state now faces a dilemma as it pushes back its February 5 reopening date again due to surges in Omicron cases and deaths across the country.