After just one COVID-19 case linked to community spread, Australia has put the city of Perth and its surrounding regions under a five-day lockdown.
On January 31, Perth premier Mark McGowan confirmed that a quarantine hotel security guard became symptomatic after a traveller staying there tested positive for the U.K. variant, reports the New York Times.
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Based on health advice, effective from 6pm tonight Sunday 31 January 2021 until 6pm Friday 5 February, the Perth me… https://t.co/rnl4QqB037— City of Perth (@City of Perth)1612088167.0
From January 31 to February 5, residents of these regions are only allowed to leave home for essential reasons. Perth alone has a population of almost 2 million.
"I know for many Western Australians, this is going to come as a shock," McGowan said while announcing the lockdown.
Restaurants, bars, and gyms will be shutdown, and schools, which were scheduled to reopen this week, will remain closed.
"The City of Perth Pandemic Response Team has been activated and is working to ensure all necessary measures are put in place across the city."
Until January 31, Australia hadn't seen a single instance of community COVID-19 transmission in nearly ten months, reports the Times.
Both nations have been implementing quarantine hotel measures for international travellers since last spring. Canada has announced that it is following suit as early as this Thursday, February 4.