Covid-infected man FLEES hotel quarantine – as Fortress WA bans ANYONE from entering even to visit dying relatives
- Tests on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the man is still Covid positive
- Authorities trying to track down the ride share driver who was exposed
- WA bans residents of all other states and territories from travelling there
Western Australian is in a state of alert after a man with Covid-19 allegedly breached quarantine on Wednesday and then hailed a taxi.
The Department of Health said though the risk to the broader public in the state that has become known as Fortress WA was not high, the man should not have left the city hotel room where he was supposed to be self-isolating.
The man took a ride share service to attend the Royal Perth Hospital Covid testing clinic before he was tracked down.
A young woman (pictured) wears a face mask in Perth, Western Australia. There is a new alert in the state after a man allegedly breached Covid quarantine
He was then taken back to a state-run quarantine hotel in a specialised isolation ambulance.
The authorities are trying to track down the ride share driver who was exposed to the virus.
Tests on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the man he drove is still Covid positive.
Contact tracers are working to identify any other exposure sites, as well as still trying to contain the alert from a woman with a mystery source of infection recorded earlier on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, the state has banned residents of all other states and territories from travelling there, even to visit dying family members.
State Premier Mark McGowan raised the Northern Territory to ‘extreme risk’, the highest level of Covid warning that bans all arrivals even for compassionate reasons.
The NT was the only state or territory not yet set to extreme, being only ‘high risk’, meaning the entire country is now banned except for very few exceptions.
WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) has now slammed the border closed to all other Australian states and territories
An increase in cases in the NT prompted a tightening of border restrictions after the territory recorded 594 infections on Monday.
The new rules will come into effect at 12.01am local time on Thursday, with only government officials, defence force personnel and diplomats allowed to travel into the state.
An exemption for travel could be granted under ‘specialist or extraordinary circumstances’ if approved by the state’s police commissioner or chief health officer.
Travellers with an exemption must be vaccinated and complete 14 days of quarantine in a state-run facility at their own expense.
A man allegedly breached Covid-19 quarantine in Perth and hailed a ride share to Royal Perth Hospital (pictured)
An additional two days of quarantine will be required at a ‘suitable premises’ with Covid testing conducted within 24 hours of arrival and on days five and 13 of isolation.
The NT reported 352 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday bringing the number of active cases in the territory to 3,000.
Mr McGowan said a growing number of interstate travellers were in hotel quarantine alongside overseas arrivals.
‘We know the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around much of the country and unfortunately the Northern Territory is now too seeing an accelerating caseload in the community,’ he said.
‘Our controlled border remains a vital tool to protect Western Australia as we work to push our vaccination rates as high as possible towards February 5, including third doses and vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds.’
A young woman (pictured) wears a face mask in Perth, Western Australia, the state known as Fortress WA for its Covid border closures