Millions of Western Australians will be freed from a snap three-day lockdown after the state recorded zero new cases of coronavirus.
From midnight on Tuesday morning, Perth and the Peel region’s stay-at-home order will be revoked and restaurants, bars and cafes can reopen as long as they only offer a seated service.
Masks though will remain mandatory in both indoor and outdoor public settings, Premier Mark McGowan announced on Monday afternoon.
He said shops and schools can also re-open – although secondary school teachers and students will have to wear masks – and a relaxed 20-person limit will apply to home gatherings.
The staged easing of restrictions will last until 12.01am on Saturday morning.
Mr McGowan said the lockdown had ‘done its job’ as he announced no new cases of the virus in the state from 13,207 Covid-19 cases overnight.
A woman holding a towel walks along Cottesloe Beach in Perth wearing a face mask. Perth and the Peel region’s stay-at-home order will be revoked as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown rules at midnight on Tuesday morning
PERTH AND PEEL’S NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Restrictions will continue until 12.01am on Saturday:
– Mandatory masks in public indoor and outdoor settings
– 20-person limit inside homes
– Sit-down dining at cafes and bars
– Stay-at-home order revoked
– Schools will open but masks will be mandatory except for primary age students
– Casino, nightclubs and indoor fitness venues will stay closed.
– Hospitality, entertainment and retail businesses can re-open offering a seated service only, with a cap of one patron per four square metres
‘The short three-day lockdown has done the job it was designed to do,’ he said.
‘It was a circuit breaker we needed to limit community spread and keep our community healthy.’
Earlier on Monday, it emerged the coronavirus-infected patient who sparked the three-day lockdown was granted an exemption to fly to virus-riddled India to get married before returning to Australia four months later.
The man is understood to have left Perth headed to India on December 12 and returned to the city with his new bride on April 10 before he tested positive while in quarantine at the Mercure hotel three days later, The West Australian reported.
The virus was passed to his wife and spread into other rooms on the same floor, infecting three others.
Outraged West Australians have expressed their anger online as to why he was permitted an exemption to fly there and then return.
Two masked walkers at Cottesloe Beach on Sunday. Perth residents will have to wear masks in both indoor and outdoor public settings, Premier Mark McGowan announced on Monday afternoon
Mr McGowan said the lockdown had ‘done its job’ as he announced zero new cases of the virus in WA overnight
‘Why was patient zero in Perth’s latest coronavirus outbreak allowed to return from India after being given an exemption to travel there for a wedding? Think of all the weddings & funerals that have been missed here in Australia,’ Perth talkback radio host Scott Emerson tweeted.
The Department of Home Affairs refused to confirm whether the infected man was allowed to leave Australia to get married in India.
‘We do not comment on individual cases,’ a department spokesman said.
There is growing outrage over the decision to let the infected man back into Australia from India on April 10. He tested positive while in quarantine at The Mecure Hotel in Perth
Travel exemptions to India were revoked last week when the federal government declared India as ‘high risk’ and limited travel to ‘only very urgent circumstances’.
More than 134,758 Australian citizens and permanent residents have been given exemptions to leave Australia’s border since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Mr McGowan, who shut down the state on Friday night over just two local Covid-19 cases, has warned the rules could even be strengthened if more cases are found.
Two women are pictured wearing masks at a Super Rugby match on Friday at HBF Park in Perth after the West Australian Government issued mandatory mask-wearing rules
State head of the Australian Medical Association Dr Andrew Miller predicts there is a 50/50 chance the lockdown will be extended as hundreds of close contacts await test results.
‘We are still waiting for results that haven’t been announced from close contacts which are now in quarantine, so we’ll know about lunchtime,’ he said.
‘I’d call it a 50/50 at the moment.’
On Sunday Premier McGowan warned residents (pictured in Subiaco) in Perth and the nearby Peel region that some restrictions will carry on
On Sunday Premier McGowan warned residents in Perth and the nearby Peel region some restrictions will carry on.
‘I’m sure there will be some further measures that continue,’ he told reporters.
‘What they are, we won’t know until tomorrow morning. We’ll get health advice… and I think people should get used to the prospect that there will be some further measures continue beyond Monday.’
‘It all depends on the circumstances. I can’t predict what will happen. There will be an extension of some form of controls.’
The lockdown cancelled ANZAC Day dawn services and confined residents to their homes except for shopping, exercise, medical care and essential work.
Medical staff work at a Covid-19 test center in Perth on Saturday. WA authorities announced 13,207 coronavirus tests had been carried out overnight into Monday
The restrictions were sparked by a 54-year-old man catching coronavirus in hotel quarantine from returned travellers from India who were in a nearby room.
The man was released after testing negative but developed symptoms and tested positive five days later when he arrived in Melbourne.
The man’s friend, who he stayed with for one night in Perth, also tested positive on Friday, prompting Premier McGowan to order the lockdown that night.
A third case was recorded when a man aged in his 40s tested positive on Saturday after dining at Kitchen Inn restaurant in Kardinya, where the other two cases had been.
A near-deserted Murray Street Mall is pictured in Perth on Saturday as the city endured a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of the virus
His household contacts have been cleared of the virus, but officials have extended the list of possible transmission sites, including a childcare centre, based on his recent activities.
Premier McGowan meanwhile remains locked in a verbal battle with the federal government over management of the hotel quarantine scheme.
He wants Scott Morrison to open air bases and Christmas Island to accommodate the travellers, insisting hotels are not safe enough because the virus can travel between rooms.
‘I think it’s becoming more urgent and I suspect all the states are getting pretty heartily sick of it that they have these facilities that are available and they refuse to use them, so we’re saying to the Commonwealth it’s time they step up.
‘I’m getting to the end of my tether with the Commonwealth handing responsibility to the states and not helping with this responsibility.’
Defence Minister Peter Dutton hit back, saying the facilities are not fit for purpose and that states had previously agreed to the hotel quarantine scheme.
A Commonwealth spokesman said defence bases are needed for defence personnel and migration detention centres are not appropriate because they contain criminals facing deportation.
FULL LIST OF PERTH EXPOSURE SITES
-Joondalup: Thai Thyme, Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre, Joondalup Drive, April 20 from 4.45pm-5.15pm, April 21 from 4.45pm- 5.15pm, April 22 from 4.30pm-5pm and April 23 from 5pm-5:30pm
-Northbridge: City China Garden (20/04/2021) 5.00pm — 8.00pm
-Northbridge: Good Fortune Roast Duck House (19/04/2021) 5.00pm — 8.00pm
-Northbridge: Fortune Five Chinese Restaurant (18/04/2021) 5.30pm — 7.00pm
-Kardinya: Kitchen Inn, 19/17-23 South Street (18/04/2021) 12.00pm — 2.00pm
-East Victoria Park: Anything La Corner, U5-6/910 Albany Highway (17/04/2021) 5.30pm — 8.00pm
-Morley: Kung Fu Kitchen, 129 Russell Street (21/04/2021) 5pm-7pm
Anyone who has visited the six high-risk restaurants must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
Other exposure sites:
-Landsdale: Landsdale Early Learning and Enrichment Childcare, 215 Landsdale Road 22/04/2021 4:30pm – 5:00pm
-Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park (Heim building) (18/04/2021 – 21/04/2021) 12.01am 18/04/2021 – 11:59pm 21/04/2021
-Canning Vale: Star Family Medicine Practice (23/04/2021) 9am – 11am
-Alexander Heights: Puma Service Station, 60/200 Mirrabooka Ave (23/04/2021) 5.15pm – 5.45pm-
– Joondalup: Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre (Target), Joondalup Drive (22/04/2021) 8pm – 8.30pm
-Wangara: Dynamic Music Academy, 3/32 Prindiville Drive (22/04/2021) 5pm – 6.30pm
-Kardinya: Terry White Chemmart (22/04/2021) 7.10pm – 8.30pm
-Applecross: DB Dental, 884 Canning Highway (Sleat Road clinic) (22/04/2021) 8am – 6pm
-Morley: Galleria (Coles and Kmart), Collier Road and Walter Road West (21/04/2021) 7pm – 9pm
-Booragoon: Leisurefit Aquatic Centre (21/04/2021) 5.30pm – 7.30pm
-Willetton: TS Bakery, 27/45 Burrendah Blvd (21/04/2021) 3:03pm – 3:06pm
-Willetton: Southlands Shopping Centre (Gilbert’s Fresh Markets, Coles, BankWest) 21/04/2021 3pm – 3:30pm
-QANTAS domestic terminal (T3 – T4) (21/04/2021) 11am – 1pm
-Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park – Dining Hall (21/04/2021) 7am – 9am
-Bentley: Jumbo BBQ Roast Duck House, 1140 Albany Highway (20/04/2021) 12pm – 12:30pm
-Subiaco: Fortune Acupuncture Chinese Medical Clinic (19/04/2021) 1:30pm – 3pm
-Kardinya: BP Service Station, 88 Gilbertson Road (19/04/2021) 11am – 12pm
-Crawley: St Catherine’s on Park – Dining Hall (19/04/2021) 7am – 9am
-Mount Pleasant: Brentwood Deli (18/04/2021) 8:30am – 9:30am
-Booragoon: Leisurefit Aquatic centre (17/04/2021) 3:30pm – 6pm
Anyone who visited these venues must get tested and self-isolate until testing negative.