WA Premier announces new Covid rules as lockdown ends
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced the snap lockdown affecting residents in Perth and the Peel region will end at midnight as scheduled.
However some restrictions will remain as the state leader warned there were still risks after two 'local' transmission cases last week were traced back to a Perth Mercure hotel used for quarantine.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon, he said the three-day lockdown had done its intended job.
"I can confirm that WA has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 overnight. This is a fantastic result. It shows an immediate lockdown has delivered the results that we needed," he said.
"It was a circuit breaker we needed to limit community spread and keep our community healthy."
The state carried out more than 13,000 tests yesterday, he added.
Interim restrictions for four days following lockdown
Mr McGowan said restrictions will apply for four days from tomorrow as millions come out of lockdown.
"Interim restrictions will come into force from midnight tonight allowing us to take a stepped-down approach after the three-day lockdown. We need to be cautious as we come out of lockdown as the virus could still be out there.
"We can't go back to normal," he said.
The interim restrictions will be in place until at least midnight on Friday.
From tomorrow those in the Perth and Peel region will be able to leave their homes at will but masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors.
Masks are not required for primary school students, those doing exercise and people who are exempt for medical reasons.
Interim restrictions from Tuesday
Masks mandatory, including when outdoors.
There will be a 20-person limit on home gatherings and some restrictions on public venues.
Retail venues can reopen, however the casino, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed during the interim restrictions period.
For venues allowed to open, the four square-metre capacity rule will be in place, with a limit of 20 patrons per venue, not including staff.
Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to provide seated service only.
Universities are open for online only.
Weddings and funerals can apply for an exemption to have a hundred people as they did during the lockdown period.
Community sport and training can proceed with players and officials but no spectators.
Visitors to hospitals, aged care homes and disability facilities will be restricted to compassionate grounds only.
Tests results of close contacts still pending
The state premier said testing results in the coming days will determine the next move later in the week.
Of the two community cases which triggered the lockdown, authorities have since identified 354 close contacts and 222 have so far returned negative test results.
Out of 748 casual contacts identified, 329 have tested negative with other results pending.
"I understand there will be a lot of questions and some confusion, coming out of lockdown is no easy task," Mr McGowan said.
"As we get more people tested we will be able to outline the next plan beyond Friday."
More than 29,000 tests have been conducted since last Friday when lockdown commenced.
Hundreds in Covid quarantine as premier warns residents 'not over yet'
It has since been revealed the guest at the Mercure hotel whose infection led to the outbreak had travelled to India last December to attend his own wedding.
Both he and his bride tested positive in hotel quarantine upon returning to Australia this month.
Genomic testing has confirmed the virus spread from the couple to several other guests in nearby rooms, including a Melbourne man who did not test positive until after he had completed quarantine and spent five days in the community.
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