Western Australia Lifts Border Restrictions For Travellers From NSW And Victoria
Western Australia Lifts Border Restrictions For Travellers From NSW And Victoria

‘Insidious’ UK strain reaches Perth

A rapidly spreading variant of COVID-19 from the United Kingdom has reached Perth, with three people in hotel quarantine infected.

Premier Mark McGowan revealed on Tuesday that the returned international travellers had tested positive to the very contagious form of the virus.

But he could not say when they arrived, if they travelled on the same flight or were staying at the same hotel.

"It just goes to show we're not out of the woods with COVID," Mr McGowan told reporters.

"It's insidious, it's out there, it's causing havoc around the world, it's causing mass deaths in Britain and the United States."


Mr McGowan said there were no plans to change WA's hotel quarantine system, and the health advice suggested it was best to leave patients in their rooms.

"You leave them where they are, you test them, you provide whatever health or medical assistance they need," he said.

"But at this point in time, we don't move them unless they need to go to hospitals."

 

The Premier has also thrown his support behind the idea of getting Australians to test negative for coronavirus before boarding a flight home.

"I certainly would support testing people coming out of jurisdictions like the UK or the US where they can be tested and we can find out whether or not they're positive before they board the flight to Australia," he said.

"This was discussed at the last national cabinet meeting. The commonwealth government does not support it, but I support it."

Mr McGowan said while the testing was not necessarily possible for every country, it was for many.

"I think it would be a great safety mechanism to ensure that people coming out of many countries around the world have a test and confirm they're negative before they board a flight with hundreds of other Australians," he said.

"To me this is a no-brainer. If we do this we can better protect our citizens."

The Premier still supports reopening Christmas Island or using military facilities to quarantine people, but the federal government does not back the idea.

Mr McGowan also said Rottnest Island remained a quarantine option "in extreme circumstances" but was not being considered.

Originally published as 'Insidious' UK strain reaches Perth


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