WA records two new COVID-19 cases

·2-min read

Western Australia has recorded two new local COVID-19 infections on Christmas Day, both linked to a French backpacker who arrived in the state from Queensland.

The cases bring the total number of community infections in WA to seven, after five cases were reported on Friday.

The 25-year-old unvaccinated backpacker attended a number of venues while infectious, after he travelled to Perth on December 12 before border restrictions with Queensland were tightened.

The man began feeling unwell on Sunday but wasn't tested until Wednesday and was discovered to be positive on Thursday.

Health authorities confirmed on Saturday he has the Delta variant of COVID-19, with all cases related to the outbreak "assumed to also be Delta".

Two further COVID-19 infections were reported in hotel quarantine.

WA is now managing 531 close contacts and 982 casual contacts, with all Perth Mess Hall contacts reclassified as close contacts.

Close contacts must be tested and self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure.

The state toughened travel restrictions for Queensland and South Australia, with both reclassified from medium to high risk from 12am on December 25.

While WA is scheduled to reopen on February 5, the uptick in infections has prompted question about whether that might be pushed back.

Mr McGowan previously said it would need to be re-assessed if cases do rise but suggested it might even be brought forward.

"If we have community spread of the virus we'll have to consider what we do," he said.

"It may well come forward ... It may well be that February 5 becomes redundant."

Measures have been brought in to reduce the chances of transmission, including a mask mandate for all indoor public venues in Perth and the Peel region until at least December 28.

The mandate applies in other areas for people who travelled to Perth or the Peel region after December 16.

High-risk large public events including music festivals are cancelled and nightclubs are closed.

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