Areas of Western Australia have completed their first night of a five-day hard lockdown, triggered after a hotel quarantine security guard attended more than a dozen venues while infected with the UK strain of COVID-19.
From 6pm on Sunday, metropolitan Perth, the Peel region and the South West region entered a lockdown which will last until 6pm on Friday.
All residents must stay at home unless shopping for essentials, attending to medical or healthcare needs, exercising within their neighbourhood or working if unable to do so remotely.
Schools that were due to resume today will remain closed for another week.
WA had gone nearly 10 months without a virus case in the WA community before the breach.
Authorities believe the man in his 20s, who worked at the Sheraton Four Points hotel in Perth’s CBD, has probably contracted the highly contagious UK variant of the virus and have urged anyone to get tested if they have symptoms.
“I know for many Western Australians this is going to come as a shock,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“Western Australians have done so well for so long, but … this is a very serious situation and each and every one of us has to do everything we personally can to stop the spread in the community.”
Premier Mark McGowan
Mr McGowan said the Maylands man returned a positive test overnight on Saturday after last working at the hotel on January 27. He first experienced symptoms a day after.
He returned three negative tests between January 15 and 23 and it is believed he was probably first infectious from January 26.
The man had worked two 12-hour shifts on January 26 and 27 on the same floor as a person infected with the highly contagious UK variant of the virus.
Genomic testing confirming the source of his infection will not be available until Tuesday morning.
WA Health has released a list of 15 venues, mostly in Maylands but also including the Perth Convention Centre and a GP practice in Nedlands, that the man attended between January 25 and January 30.
Anyone who attended those venues must get tested at a COVID-19 clinic and isolate until their results are available.
Authorities are investigating the breach but say the guard did not enter a hotel room.
Mr McGowan urged the community not to panic-buy groceries, saying the state was well equipped to ensure supplies.
The lockdown is set to end at the end of the week, with a review expected.
Other states have already moved quickly to close borders or restrict travel.
South Australia slammed its border shut to all of WA on Sunday night. Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, and Tasmania have restricted travel from the locked-down areas of WA.
People travelling to NSW from the affected areas must take a COVID-19 test and self-isolate.
To everyone in the effected areas of Western Australia, we’re thinking of you and thank you, on the behalf of the rest of the country, for doing the right thing.
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