Perth goes into five-day lockdown after reporting first community case in 10 months

This comes after a security guard at a quarantine hotel in the Australian city had tested positive for COVID-19.

Phoon Jia Hui

Jack of all trades, master of drinking boba milk tea.

Published: 1 February 2021, 11:46 AM

Authorities in the Australian city of Perth have imposed a five-day lockdown after a security guard at a quarantine hotel tested positive for COVID-19.  

Roughly two million residents in the city as well as those living in the nearby Peel and South West regions will be required to stay home.

They are only permitted to leave their homes for exercise, medical care, essential work or to buy food. A scheduled return of schools in the city has also been delayed. 

Other measures include the closing of eateries, while visits to health facilities are banned and weddings cancelled.

The restrictions are the toughest seen in Perth since the early stages of the pandemic, with mask-wearing being made mandatory for the first time too.

According to media reports, the man is believed to have contracted the virus from a returning traveller, who may have the more infectious UK variant of the coronavirus.  

Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the man’s infection, with health officials saying that he may have visited numerous locations while infectious. 

“Our model is to deal with it very, very quickly and harshly … so that we can bring it under control and not have community spread of the virus as you have seen in other countries around the world,” state Premier Mark McGowan said.

Similar measures were introduced in Brisbane three weeks ago, after a hotel cleaner was found to have contracted the UK variant.   

To date, Australia has recorded slightly over 28,800 cases of COVID-19, while 909 deaths have been linked to the virus in a population of about 25 million.

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