Lockdown in Perth to come to an end as no new COVID cases lodged

Perth, in Western Australia. Source: istock.com

Perth and Peel will be released from the lockout, but certain measures will remain in effect for the rest of the week, according to Premier Mark McGowan.

He told reporters this afternoon that the three-day lockout "has done the job it was supposed to do."

"This was a circuit breaker we needed to keep our society safe and restrict community spread."

After speaking with health officials, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand will declare when the travel pause with Perth will end tomorrow.

Schools will reopen, and people will be able to leave their homes and move to other parts of the country, but they will still be required to wear face masks.

"When we come out of the lockout, we must be vigilant because the virus will still be there," the premier said.

After the virus leaked out of the Mercure quarantine hotel last week, two locally acquired cases were confirmed.

Authorities have reported 354 confirmed cases' near contacts, with 222 of them returning negative test results so far.

329 of the 748 casual encounters have tested negative, with further reports pending.

Since Friday, over 29,000 tests have been performed.

The Mercure guest who infected the other guests and started the outbreak had traveled to India in December to attend his own wedding.

When he and his wife returned to Australia earlier this month, they both tested positive in hotel quarantine.

The virus spread from the pair to several other guests in nearby houses, including a Melbourne man who did not test positive until after completing quarantine and spending five days in the city, according to genomic testing.

In the midst of a growing spat between the state and federal governments, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews defended the wedding travel exemption.

"The exemption was provided for that person in complete accordance with the conditions at the time," she told Perth radio station 6PR on Monday.

"What we've done since then is tighten up the conditions and the reasons for travel... a wedding will be impossible to be accepted now."

Publish : 2021-04-26 11:29:00

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