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Western Australia has announced four new Covid cases amid fears a French backpacker had seeded a new outbreak in the state.

One person is a close contact of a person who attended a Mess Hall Event in Northbridge on Sunday, December 19, Premier Mark McGowan announced on Friday.

Three other people are close contacts.  

‘This means that anyone who attended the event must get tested and now self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure,’ Mr McGowan said. 

‘As the date of exposure is 19 December, this means they will be in quarantine until January 3. 

WA was due to open up at 90 per cent vaccination on February 5, but is facing a potential outbreak after a Covid-positive 25-year-old traveller arrived from Queensland arrived in the state on December 12 – just an hour before WA shut its border to the Sunshine State at 12.01am.

He partied at a series of bars and nightspots, staying out until 5am at Perth’s trendy clubs on Saturday night, subsequently forcing hundreds of close contacts into isolation.

Australian Border Force confirmed the French backpacker arrived in Australia before the onset of the pandemic on January 7, 2020, and has remained in Australia the past two years, Mr McGowan said on Friday.

The state may be forced to open borders earlier than planned if Covid becomes widespread. 

The premier admitted yesterday he had no idea how the man got in, and questions have been raised about how the unvaccinated backpacker was able to board a plane.

But the explanation is fairly straightforward due to WA’s tiered system of Covid risk that Mr McGowan applied to travellers. 

Queensland was at the time Covid-free and classed as a ‘very low risk’ area, meaning there were minimal border controls and no testing, quarantine, or vaccination requirements.

Mr McGowan’s government reportedly received legal advice that it would be unable to enforce proof of vaccination rules for travellers from states that were Covid-free. 

All travellers from very low risk areas have to do is fill out a G2G pass form with personal information, and submit to a basic health screening at the airport or border.

Mr McGowan said yesterday that the next four days would determine if WA had its first cases of community transmission since it locked down over just one case in June. 

He immediately slapped an indoor mask mandate on Perth and Peel, closed nightclubs, banned dancing, and cancelled all large events.

Source: Daily Mail

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