SHOCK is being felt all around the country after Western Australia chose not to re-open on February 5, standing hundreds of people who had planned to visit family and friends.
And it's not just those hoping to travel to the west that have expressed their disappointment with a former North Ballarat under 18s player stranded in Perth, unable to see his family and return back to prepare for the AFL season.
West Australians face being trapped indefinitely within their own state after Premier Mark McGowan announced the backflip during a late-night press conference on Thursday, claiming it would be "reckless and irresponsible" to proceed with the planned February 5 reopening given the surge in Omicron COVID-19 cases across the country.
While more compassionate exemptions will be made available, it means residents and visitors will still need to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in the state.
Former North Ballarat Under 18s footballer and Ballarat Clarendon College student, Fremantle Docker Darcy Tucker, who hails from Horsham, said the decision would be upsetting for a lot of his teammates but the team would rally around each other.
"As a Victorian it's pretty tough and I was a bit upset," Tucker told afl.com.au on Friday.
"A lot of us boys were planning to head back there. Not just Victorians but South Australians and every interstate player. I'm a bit upset by it, but I back the WA government in and their goal is to protect the community, and we're all for that as well."
Tucker said the last time he saw his family was in the grandstands at matches last season when the club was travelling, but only under social distancing restrictions and for short periods.
The 24-year-old had planned to visit family on January 31 for six days and return to Western Australia after the February 5 re-opening.
"There's going to be a lot we have to deal with and we have to handle it and wrap our arms around each other and be a family ourselves," he said.
"I'm sure we'll all handle that well and get around each other, because a lot of us are in the same position."
The decision to keep the Western Australian borders closed indefinitely means Perth Lynx WNBL team will likely remain based in Ballarat for the time being.
Mars Stadium is likely to be on stand-by for AFLW matches should both Fremantle and West Coast not be able to return home to complete their seasons.
However, when quizzed about Mars Stadium's availability for AFLW on Friday, the City of Ballarat did not respond.
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