State to make Victorians quarantine

A state has introduced strict rules for people arriving from Victoria after more cases of Covid-19 were discovered in an ‘evolving’ situation.

Western Australia is tightening its restrictions on travellers from Victoria but has stopped short of slamming its border shut after more cases of coronavirus were detected in the eastern state.

Victoria has recorded another four cases of the virus, bringing the cluster in Melbourne’s north to nine.

From 6pm on Tuesday, all Victorian arrivals to Western Australia must be tested straight away, or within 48 hours, and self-quarantine until they return a negative result.

“I hope this additional testing regime is all we have to do … (but) we won’t hesitate to put in place additional border controls if that is what the health advice recommends,” Premier Mark McGowan said on Tuesday.

It comes as Queensland has also declared the City of Whittlesea local government area – where the outbreak in Melbourne is centred – a hotspot.

From 1am Wednesday anyone arriving from Queensland from that area must go into hotel quarantine unless they have a valid exemption.

All arrivals from Victoria into Queensland must complete a border pass from Thursday at 1am.

Mr Mcgowan told reporters that Western Australian authorities had been closely watching the unfolding outbreak.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and things may well change,” he said.

“Given the unknown source of the current outbreak, and genomic sequencing confirming a link to the Victorian man who acquired the virus in South Australian hotel quarantine earlier this month, it is a very concerning situation.

“It means there have been infectious people in the Victorian community potentially since May 15.”

Mr McGowan said the new restrictions were consistent with what Western Australia did when NSW had its outbreak in the northern beaches, which later became a hard border when the situation escalated.

Anyone who has visited an exposure site must quarantine and be tested on day two and 11.

“Arrivals cannot use public transport until they have returned a negative test result,” Mr McGowan said.

About 18,000 people have arrived in Western Australia from Victoria since May 15.

“This is a concerning and disruptive situation,” Mr McGowan said.

“We hope they bring this outbreak back under control as soon as possible.”

Victoria’s four new infections tested positive on Tuesday afternoon and are household contacts of the single new case announced in the morning.

Authorities confirmed that single case — a man aged in his 60s — was linked to the Whittlesea outbreak in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

All of the positive cases are in isolation.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has indicated more cases could emerge in the coming days.

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