'Hard to take': Perth plunged into snap lockdown

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Perth and the Peel region in Western Australia will enter a snap three-day lockdown over the Anzac Day long weekend after two cases of Covid-19 were detected in the community.

Premier Mark McGowan told reporters: "I know this is hard to take and I wish we didn't need to do this".

It means all ANZAC Day dawn services will be cancelled in the Perth and Peel regions, and people will be encouraged to pay tribute from their driveways again.

"We can't take any chances with the virus. From midnight, people need to stay in the Perth and Peel regions and won't be able to leave unless you have an exemption," he said.

It comes after a man arrived in Perth on April 3 from Shanghai before leaving for Melbourne after spending 14 days in hotel quarantine. He was in the Perth community for five days before leaving for Melbourne. He later tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Melbourne and remains in quarantine.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan speaks to the media during a press conference at Dumas House in Perth.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan speaks to the media during a press conference at Dumas House in Perth. Source: AAP

"After leaving quarantine on 17 April, he stayed with a friend and her two children in Kardinya and went to a Malaysian restaurant," Mr McGowan said.

"A friend has, who is a close contact, had a rapid Covid test today. That has just returned a positive result."

The woman's children have returned negative test results.

Genomic testing has confirmed the virus spread in the corridors of the Mercure hotel from a couple who had returned from India.

A pregnant mother and her four-year-old daughter who were staying across the corridor tested positive and remain in quarantine at the hotel.

Mr McGowan said the man spent five days in the Perth community before going to Melbourne. He initially tested negative but authorities believe he became ill while in the hotel.

Passengers on flight QF778, from Perth to Melbourne, are being asked to get tested for Covid-19 immediately.

Masks compulsory in Perth

The lockdown will commence in Peel and Perth from midnight. Masks will be required from 6pm Friday.

All bars, cafes and restaurants have also been closed. Residents will only be allowed to leave the home to exercise for an hour, for work which cannot be done remotely, medical appointments and to buy essential goods such as groceries.

"Obviously visiting Rottnest [Island] wouldn't fit into those categories," Mr McGowan said.

"Unless you worked there."

Members of the public exercise on the south Perth foreshore as smoke caused by a bushfire in the Perth hills suburb of Wooroloo rises above the city skyline in Perth.
A man exercises in Wooroloo. From 6pm, residents will be asked to wear face masks. Source: AAP

The AFL match between Fremantle and North Melbourne at Optus Stadium on Saturday night will go ahead as planned but without a crowd.

Any other sporting matches on Friday night, including the Western Force's Super Rugby clash with the Reds, will continue as normal before the lockdown.

“I know for many Western Australians this will be disruptive," Mr McGowan said. 

"My thanks goes to everyone for their patience and understanding.”

A decision on whether to extend the lockdown will be made on Monday, he said.

with AAP

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