WA Covid-19: No new cases on first day of lockdown

Western Australia has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 on the first day of a snap ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown that will run until at least the end of the week.

Western Australia has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 on the first day of a snap lockdown aimed at being a “circuit breaker” to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain of the virus.

Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Tuesday the lockdown was necessary despite there being no new cases up to 11am on Tuesday.

“The evidence of the transmission between the three cases known yesterday was highly concerning, as was the magnitude above what we have seen in prior outbreaks,” he said.

“We didn’t want to risk the virus getting out of control. We want to crush this outbreak as quickly as possible.

“We do not want this deadly virus to linger undetected in the community.

“We want to be able to quickly and safely lift restrictions, and get ourselves back to the quality of life we all enjoy, lifting the burden of businesses and the community.

“That means the best, most logical option was a quick circuit-breaking lockdown. I acknowledge that lockdowns are disruptive and burdensome for many.”

Mr McGowan said as of Monday night, 209 close contacts were identified and contacted.

Of those, 109 had returned a negative test result so far.

A further 1828 casual contacts were identified, with 275 testing negative so far.

“We expect the numbers of close and casual contacts to continue to rise as more and more are identified, and additional exposure locations are added, especially given case 1024 was only confirmed last night,” Mr McGowan said.

The Premier also announced the hard border would be reinstated against travellers from Queensland at 3pm on Tuesday.

That means those travellers need an exemption to enter Western Australia, must self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested.

Returning West Australians will be classified as exempt travellers under compassionate grounds, which means they must complete 14 days of self-quarantine and be tested.

“These are challenging days for the country. The Delta variant is testing our systems and our community like never before,” Mr McGowan said.

“I have faith, however, that we will crush this outbreak, save lives and jobs, and get things back to normal very quickly.

“Like I said yesterday, lockdowns and restrictions are not a long-term solution — vaccination is.”

The Perth and Peel regions were plunged into a minimum four-day lockdown after Mr McGowan called an 8pm press conference on Monday night.

It came after a physiotherapist, who had received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, contracted Covid-19 at the Lyfe Cafe in Bondi, then unknowingly brought the virus home.

She spread it to another woman at a gym and a man at the Indian Ocean Brewing Company. That third case was only identified late on Monday.

Under lockdown restrictions, people must stay home unless they need to:

  • Go to work because it is impossible to work remotely;
  • Purchase or provide essentials, such as food and medicine;
  • Attend medical or healthcare needs, including a Covid-19 vaccine or test; and
  • Exercise with a maximum of two adults from the same household (children are not counted), for one hour per day within a 5km radius.

Anyone who leaves home must wear a mask.

Health Minister Roger Cook said there were 5660 vaccinations administered on Monday, including 4045 first jabs and 1615 second doses.

He also confirmed the physiotherapist had been vaccinated 12 weeks before the transmission of the disease, while her husband received the jab 10 weeks before the exposure.

“International studies show that AstraZeneca provides immunity of around about 30 per cent after the first dose in relation to the Delta strain,” Mr Cook said.

“So clearly it is important that if you have had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, please continue with your program to get your second dose.”

People can only enter the Perth and Peel areas for essential requirements.

Eight checkpoints have been set up, with 555 vehicles checked and 38 turned around so far.

But some people managed to get through for holidays before the lockdown began at 12.01am on Tuesday.

The following restrictions apply for the lockdown period:

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to provide takeaway service only;
  • Casinos, nightclubs, entertainment venues and public venues to close;
  • Beauty, nail and hair services to close;
  • Retail only for essential health services and essential goods such as supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware and petrol;
  • Swimming pools, recreation centres, gyms, pilates, yoga, dance studios to close;
  • Places of worship to close;
  • No community sport or private outdoor gatherings
  • Weddings restricted to five people and funerals restricted to 10 people;
  • No visitors in homes unless it is for essential services, critical maintenance, caregiving or an emergency;
  • No visitors to hospitals, residential aged care or disability facilities except for compassionate or exceptional circumstances; and
  • Category two and three elective surgeries will be postponed until July 9.

Schools, boarding schools and childcare centres remain open, but universities, TAFEs and training colleges will be closed unless for critical activities.

Several flights scheduled to leave Perth for mine sites in the Pilbara and Goldfields regions on Tuesday morning were cancelled because only essential fly-in, fly-out workers were permitted to travel.

Meanwhile, Mr McGowan has also urged healthy people to consider donating blood to the Red Cross.

“Blood and plasma donation is one of the reasons you are allowed to leave the home,” he said.

“If you are healthy, please consider donating … just because we are in lockdown, it doesn’t mean the need for blood goes away.”

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