Parts of Western Australia have gone into a five-day lockdown after one new COVID-19 case was recorded in the state, breaking an almost 10-month coronavirus-free streak.
As of 6pm last night the entire Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region, and the South West region went into a full lockdown for five days until 6pm Friday 5 February.
People in these regions are required to stay home unless they are shopping for essentials, for healthcare needs, for exercise within their neighbourhood (with one other person, for one hour per day), or where one cannot work from home or remotely.
In addition, everyone in these three regions is now required to wear a mask at all times.
In response, all other Australian states and territories have put new border controls in place for travellers leaving WA.
The strict lockdown measures have been put into place after one new locally acquired case of COVID-19 was discovered - a man working at the Sheraton Four Points hotel quarantine facility in Perth.
When the man was working at this hotel there were four active cases of COVID-19 confirmed in retuned travellers completing quarantine.
According to WA health officials, the man was working on the same floor as a positive UK-variant case of COVID-19 - a more transmissible type of the coronavirus.
The man developed symptoms on Thursday 28 January and phoned in sick and did not go to work at the quarantine facility since then.
In order to curb this potential outbreak of COVID-19 in Perth the following businesses, venues and locations will close during the lockdown period:
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues,
- Skate parks,
- Outdoor recreational facilities,
- Entertainment venues,
- Large religious gatherings and places of worship,
- Libraries and other cultural institutions.
Restaurants and cafes have also closed but will be permitted to continue with takeaway services during the five-day lockdown period.
Supermarkets and businesses that sell other essential goods will remain open during the five day period.
Only 10 people will be allowed to attend a funeral, and all weddings have been cancelled for the next five days.
In addition, no visitors are allowed to other homes (unless in an emergency or when caring for a vulnerable person).
No visitors are allowed in aged care facilities, hospitals, or disability facilities either.
Elective surgery and procedures for categories two and three will be suspended from Tuesday 2 February, but category one and urgent category two surgeries will be allowed to continue.
Schools have also closed as of this morning.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the situation was "very serious" in Perth.
"We have acted decisively and swiftly in the circumstances," he said.
"I want to thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.
"Throughout the pandemic, the response of Western Australians has been second to none. The community has done everything we've asked them, they have made great sacrifices and has kept our state safe."
States slam borders shut to WA
In response to the potential outbreak of COVID-19 in WA a number of states have closed borders to the western state.
Queensland declared Perth a COVID-19 hostpot last night, meaning anyone who has been in the three WA regions under lockdown must go into 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival.
New South Wales is requiring any WA travellers who have been to any of the venues of concern to WA Health to isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Those who have not been to those locations but are from any of the three regions in lockdown will have to get tested within 48 hours of arrival in NSW and stay at home for five days until 9pm Friday 5 February. If they do not get tested they are required to stay at home for 14 days.
South Australia has completely closed to any travellers from WA as of 10.15pm last night.
WA travellers who have entered SA anytime since 26 January must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days and get a COVID-19 test immediately and on days five and 12.
South Australians will be permitted to return from WA still, as well as those who have a permit to travel for essential purposes.
Victoria has moved the three areas under lockdown to 'red zone' classification under its traffic light permit system.
Those in the 'red zones' will be required to isolate and get tested within 72 hours of arriving and remain self-isolated until they receive a negative result.
Tasmania has declared the three areas of concern in WA as 'high-risk', meaning anyone who has been there on or since 25 January should self-isolate.
Travellers from those areas are no longer permitted to enter TAS without special approval.
The Northern Territory is requiring any person travelling from the areas in lockdown to undertake 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine on arrival.
Further, anyone who arrived in the territory between 25 to 31 January must get a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until a negative test is returned.
The ACT has asked all travellers from the Perth Metropolitan area since 25 January to get tested and isolate for five days.
They will be self-isolating until Friday at 9pm even if they test negative for the virus.
Updated at 9.34am AEDT on 1 February 2021.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support