Western Australia will reopen its borders before the widespread vaccination of younger children but it won't come soon enough to rescue the fifth Ashes Test.
WA's strict border regime had already loomed as an insurmountable barrier to hosting the event before Cricket Australia made it official on Monday, saying it was "not possible to align the respective priorities" of the various stakeholders.
The marquee fixture had been due to start on January 14, with WA's borders due to reopen for good as little as two weeks later.
Premier Mark McGowan is expected to set a firm date after Friday's national cabinet meeting for the late-January reopening.
The announcement will align with WA achieving an 80 per cent full vaccination rate for residents aged 12 and above in coming days.
WA's border conservatism will not extend to expanding its vaccination target group to include under-12s, who are set to start receiving their jabs from next month.
The Australian Medical Association had called for WA to hold fire on the border reopening until younger children had been widely vaccinated.
"The state government is not going to change the timelines on our safe transition plan," Education Minister Sue Ellery said.
"We are well on our way through that. West Australians who are required to be (vaccinated) have been doing the right thing."
The loss of the Ashes Test is a hammer blow to WA Cricket, which faces a $5 million black hole after losing a Test match due to border issues for the second consecutive year.
Sports Minister Tony Buti had suggested Optus Stadium could swap with Adelaide Oval and instead host next week's second Test - an optimistic idea that was quickly shut down by South Australian officials and national administrators.
"We are very disappointed," Mr Buti told reporters.
"We believe that it could be held safely in Perth ... we believe that Cricket Australia could have done it if they'd really wanted to."
Australian Associated Press