Western Australia’s Acting Premier says he remains confident the state’s approach to Victoria’s growing outbreak is appropriate, but concedes he does not know how many travellers from the state have decided to stay on in WA.
- WA closed its border to Victoria at midnight on New Year’s Eve
- Many travellers who had already arrived in WA were ordered to self-isolate
- As a result, some chose to leave the state, but the numbers remain unclear
WA closed its border to Victoria at midnight on Thursday, only allowing in travellers who meet specific exemption criteria.
Anyone who arrived in WA from Victoria from December 21 must self-quarantine for the first 14 days they are in the state, and take a COVID test on day 11.
More than 2,170 people were tested for COVID-19 testing clinics on Friday an increase of 1,352 from the day before.
Health Minister Roger Cook said while all affected arrivals had been contacted by authorities, it was not clear how many had undergone the required test, or how many had returned to Victoria.
“We’ll understand that in the coming days,” he said.
COVID testing at Perth clinics has been rising in recent days.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)
“Some obviously wouldn’t be responding to the emails or text messages because they’re already back in Melbourne.
“We’ll be contacting them progressively over the coming days to actually understand exactly who is outstanding in the same way that we did in relation to the situation with New South Wales recently,” he said.
WA recorded three new cases of COVID-19 overnight, all in hotel quarantine.
Cook takes swipe at NSW COVID response
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Mr Cook also took aim at NSW’s handling of the virus, saying it was “disappointing” the virus had spread into Victoria.
He said while NSW was in a difficult position because of the time of year, more could have been done earlier to prevent the virus spreading into the western suburbs.
“If they had gone to a lockdown immediately, that would have limited any growth of the disease within those western suburbs,” he said.
“I believe it vindicates our position in relation to the hard border because we know how quickly this disease spreads.
“As a result of the limited focus they had in relation to that outbreak, it’s meant that it’s been able to get into other areas of New South Wales and potentially into Victoria.
“Potentially in a different scenario if they had gone harder earlier that would not have occurred.
“But I’m not in their shoes. What I’m trying to do is make sure we keep Western Australians safe.”
Meth found in hotel hamburger delivery, police allege
Police have charged a 52-year-old after he allegedly attempted to deliver methylamphetamine to someone staying in a quarantine hotel.
Officers said the man visited the hotel on Adelaide Terrace on Friday, saying he was there to drop off takeaway food to a person in quarantine.
But when police and security officers inspected the food, they allegedly found four syringes in a thickshake and a clip seal bag containing about 1.2 grams of methylamphetamine inside a hamburger.
“Further evidence was located which indicated he had been communicating with a person in quarantine in relation to delivering a quantity of methylamphetamine to the hotel,” a police spokesperson said.
The man from Beaconsfield has been charged with possessing methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply.
He is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court later this month.
A timeline of COVID-19 in Western Australia