Perth enters five-day lockdown from 6pm tonight
Perth has been plunged into a five-day lockdown after a hotel quarantine security guard contracted COVID-19 then went to a large number of locations in the community, not knowing he had it.
WA Premier Mark McGowan held an emergency press conference on Sunday afternoon, revealing WA’s first locally-acquired case in almost 10 months.
He said the male guard aged in his 20s had been working at Four Points by Sheraton in the CBD where there were four active cases, including two of the UK variant and one of the South African mutant strain.
The Maylands resident had tested negative on January 15, 17 and 23 but developed symptoms on Thursday, January 28.
Mr McGowan said it was suspected the man had the highly contagious UK variant as he had worked on the same floor as a case of that strain.
“Exactly how the infection was acquired remains under investigation,” the Premier said.
“We suspect he contracted the illness on the Tuesday or the Wednesday.
“We are advised that he may have been a driver for one of the rideshare companies.
“The last day he worked in the hotel was Wednesday, but we are advised, and this is being carefully followed up, that he did not do any other work in the time since.”
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the man was potentially infectious while out in the community, listing multiple businesses in Maylands he had been to as well as the Perth Convention Centre.
“Something did go wrong and we do need to get to the bottom of it,” Mr Cook said.
“It is a serious situation and that is why we invite everyone to undertake the measures that we are all familiar with, that we undertook during March and April last year.
“For five days … just make sure that we take the opportunity to get on top of this situation.”
The man shares a unit with three other people who have so far returned negative results - but that will likely change.
“We put them into hotel quarantine, because the chances are they will subsequently term positive,” Mr McGowan said.
WA chief health officer Andy Robertson said the man was probably infectious from January 26.
The lockdown applies to the Perth, Peel and South West regions and begins at 6pm WST on Sunday, running until 6pm on Friday.
- Effective from 6pm tonight until 6pm Friday, 5 February 2021, the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and South West regions will enter a lockdown.
- People should not leave Perth, Peel or the South West during this period
- People can enter Perth, Peel or the South West only to access or deliver essential health and emergency services and other essential requirements
- Non-residents currently in Perth, Peel and the South West are required to remain until the end of the restriction period however if you must leave for serious reasons you are to then return home immediately, stay home and get tested if symptoms develop
- People in lockdown areas must stay home — unless shopping for essentials such as groceries, medicine and necessary supplies
- Only go to work if you are essential to your business
- People can only cross state regions if they are returning to their residence
- Masks must be worn outside, inside at work, and on public transport
- Exercise permitted within your neighbourhood with one other person, for one hour per day
- Schools will not open on Monday
- No visitors to the home
- No visitors to hospitals, and/or disability facilities, unless exceptional circumstances.
- No visitors to aged care homes
- Elective surgery and procedures for categories two and three will be suspended from Tuesday, Feb 2
- Category 1 and urgent Category 2 surgeries will continue
- Weddings cancelled for next five days
- A limit of ten mourners at funerals
- Schools, universities, TAFES and education facilities
- Pubs, bars and clubs
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor recreational facilities
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, and casinos
- Large religious gatherings and places of worship
- Libraries and cultural institutions
Meanwhile WA is preparing for the election and there’s 41 days until the next election but the next five will be a campaign blackout for Premier Mark McGowan and the Labor and Liberal parties as Western Australia grapples with a short, sharp lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Official campaigning was due to start from Wednesday when the government goes into caretaker mode but Mr McGowan said he would be on hand to deliver health information to the public rather than out on the hustings.