Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said he will be requesting the cap on hotel quarantine in the state be halved to 512 people a week.
“We are awaiting a response [from the federal government]. But we expect a positive reaction because, obviously, the pressure on our quarantine system sometimes results in these sorts of things occurring.
“We pay for these hotels; state governments cover the cost, not the Commonwealth.”
Mr. McGowan said test results are forthcoming after contact tracers uncovered 337 contacts linked to the Victorian man who contracted COVID-19 while in a state hotel quarantine facility.
A three-day lockdown has begun in the Perth and Peel regions after a leak in hotel quarantine. The lockdown is scheduled to end at midnight on Monday.
Anzac Day dawn services tomorrow will be canceled, and people must wear masks when leaving their homes.
The governing body of RSL branches in the state, the RSLWA, said it is disappointing that an outbreak has disrupted official services, but there are still plans to mark Anzac Day.
“We will be pushing very hard the Light at the Dawn driveway services, which happened last year and was very successful because no-one could go anywhere – and unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened this ANZAC Day,” said John McCourt, CEO of RSLWA.
“They can converge in their driveway or balcony, or at the end of their farmgate; nod to their neighbors, light up a candle, and commemorate.”
Premier Mark McGowan said he hoped the lockdown would not need to be extended.
“This has been a rapidly evolving situation. I know it has been challenging, and I know it has been frustrating.
“But if we can all work together and do the right thing over the next few days, we’ll increase our chances of stopping the virus in its tracks.”
Hotel quarantine in WA under review
This week, documents released by the government identified Mercure as one of three hotels considered “high risk” for ventilation issues.
WA’s chief health officer received the report on April 8 and wrote to the premier last Friday advising that the Mercure should stop using.
The mother, who is six months pregnant, and her daughter at the Mercure returned positive tests that day.
The Mercure will soon no longer accommodate returned travelers, and the government will review the continued use of the other high-risk hotels.
Tests show the spread of the virus in hotel quarantine.
Genomic testing has confirmed the virus initially spread in the corridors of the Mercure Hotel from a couple who had returned from India.
A pregnant mother and her four-year-old daughter who stayed across the corridor tested positive and remained in quarantine at the hotel. A 54-year-old man, who tested positive upon arrival in Victoria, had been staying in an adjacent room. He spent his first night out of quarantine at the home of a friend, a Kardinya mother-of-two who has also tested positive.
Her children have returned negative tests.
The man visited locations throughout the city, including the popular tourist spot Kings Park, before leaving Perth on April 21. Victoria reported no new locally acquired cases on Saturday.