Three people in Western Australia’s hotel quarantine system tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant from the UK, Premier Mark McGowan has revealed.
- The infected travellers “probably” arrived from the UK, the Premier says
- He says precautions to prevent the strain from spreading are “very strong”
- WA has recorded one new COVID-19 case in hotel quarantine
The cases all arrived from London between the 16th and 20th of December 2020, and have recovered and since left hotel quarantine.
It comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England to combat the fast-spreading mutant strain of coronavirus.
“We’ve done testing of the most recent cases. Unfortunately, what we’ve found in our hotel quarantine system is three people have the new UK variant … a more rapidly spreading variant of the virus,” he said.
Mr McGowan said the variant was “causing havoc throughout England”.
“There’s now around 27,000 people in hospital with COVID in England, the number is growing rapidly every day, they’re having mass deaths across Britain and that’s a terrible situation,” he said.
Hotel precautions ‘very strong’: Premier
Mr McGowan said the three cases were “most probably” travellers who arrived from the UK.
“They’re people who’ve come out of Britain … come into Western Australia, [we’ve] identified the virus, further genomic testing has shown that they are part of the UK variant,” he said.
“They’re in hotel quarantine in rooms and the precautions are very strong. Anyone who interacts with them obviously has to adhere to all the protocols.”
The Premier said it was a reminder the state was “not out of the woods” with COVID-19.
“It’s insidious, it’s out there, it’s causing havoc around the world … we are COVID free and therefore we are very fortunate, and I want to keep it that way. I want us to keep the virus out,” he said.
WA has today recorded one new case of COVID-19 in its hotel quarantine system, a returned resident who travelled from Poland.
Mr McGowan again urged the Federal Government to consider making it mandatory for people returning home from the UK and the US to be tested for COVID-19 before they fly into Australia.
“To me this is a no-brainer. If we do this, we can better protect our citizens and make sure we have less prospect of spread of the virus amongst all of the other people on the aircraft returning to Australia,” he said.