Large parts of WA are waking up to their first day in hard lockdown following the state’s first locally acquired COVID-19 case in almost 10 months.
Effective from 6 pm Sunday (January 31) till 6 pm Friday (February 5), Premier Mark McGowan announced the lockdown as a response to the “fast-evolving situation in Western Australia with [a] positive COVID-19 case detected in a hotel quarantine worker.”
A “full lockdown” means that residents in the entire Perth metropolitan area, the Peel Region, and the South-West region must follow strict stay at home orders. They can only leave their homes for essential grocery shopping, medical reasons, to care for the vulnerable, or exercise within their neighbourhood.
In a statement, WA Premier Mark McGowan detailed the situation as “very serious” and identified the case as a hotel quarantine worker in his ’20s who contracted symptoms on January 28. Authorities believed that the patient had been infectious since January 26. “In effect, for a short period of time, we are going back to what we experienced in March and April of last year,” McGowan added.
The Premier went on to say that it’s still unknown “how the security guard acquired the virus in the hotel” and that based on the current information, “it appears possible that this new positive case has the highly transmissible new UK variant.”
i live in western australia and we have practically been living covid free lives bc we were reaching ten months without community transmission. but a quarantine security guard contracted it and went out in public. this will be the first lockdown since april of last year. i’m sad.
— shannon (@kiIIingsash) January 31, 2021
Fellow states – including NSW – have already announced restrictions on WA travellers, all of whom are required to go into immediate quarantine if they’ve already entered the state.
Quick reaction in Western Australia. A hotel quarantine security guard in Perth tested positive to COVID-19, first community transfer in 10 months: full lockdown for 5 days in wide area. Pubs, clubs, playgrounds, gyms and schools closed. Dedication.
— Kuplatta (@kuplatta) January 31, 2021
The news follows talks of the Trans-Tasman bubble, allowing travel between Australia and NZ without a mandatory 14 days hotel quarantine.
I feel like the trans-Tasman bubble is this never-ending hope being dangled in front of us just out of reach. #covid19nz
— Rachel Cunliffe (@cre8d) January 26, 2021