Australia’s Perth to exit COVID-19 lockdown


SYDNEY (Reuters) – The government of Western Australia state said it will lift a three-day COVID-19 lockdown in Perth and neighbouring Peel region as planned from midnight on Monday after no new cases were found in the past two days.


Perth and the Peel region were placed into a hard lockdown from Saturday after an infected traveller from overseas, who likely contracted the novel coronavirus during his two-week quarantine in a Perth hotel, visited several venues while unknowingly infectious.

“The short three-day lockdown has done the job it was designed to do,” state Premier Mark McGowan told reporters in Perth. “It was a circuit-breaker we needed to limit community spread and keep our community healthy.”

Two million people in Perth and Peel’s near 150,000 residents were ordered to stay home until 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, except for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping or exercise.

People can leave their homes when the lockdown ends but will have to wear masks at all times. Home gatherings will be limited to 20 guests while restaurants and supermarkets will need to follow strict social-distancing rules.

These interim restrictions will remain until Friday night, McGowan said, when they would be reviewed.

Snap lockdowns, speedy tracking systems and border closures have helped Australia keep its COVID-19 numbers relatively low, with just over 29,600 cases and 910 deaths.

(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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