Australia

Covid-infected man flees hotel quarantine

Western Australia is on high alert after a Covid-positive man allegedly breached hotel quarantine to go to hospital and get a PCR test.

The confirmed case somehow escaped his hotel room and took a ride-share service to the Royal Perth Hospital testing clinic before he was tracked down.

The Department of Health said the risk to the broader public is not high, but the man should not have had the ability to leave the city hotel room where he had been self-isolating.

Once caught, the man was taken back to a state-run quarantine hotel by way of specialised isolation ambulance.

The man was tested after the breach on Wednesday afternoon, confirming he is still Covid-positive.

Camera IconWestern Australia is on high alert after a Covid-positive man allegedly breached hotel quarantine. NCA NewsWire/Philip Gostelow Credit: Supplied

Authorities are now working to track down the ride-share driver who drove the man to the hospital.

Contact tracers are also working to identify whether there have been any other exposure sites.

It comes as WA revealed it would be closing itself off from the rest of the country on Wednesday after the state announced it has elevated the Northern Territory to “extreme risk” under its tough border measures.

The change came into effect from 12.01am Thursday, meaning every jurisdiction other than WA is deemed “extreme risk”.

Under that classification, exemptions will only be approved for commonwealth and state officials, members of parliament, diplomats, and in specialist or extraordinary circumstances.

Approved travellers must have at least two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and undertake hotel quarantine at a state facility for 12 days at their own expense, plus a further two days at a suitable premise.

They must also undergo testing within 24 hours of arrival, as well as on days five and 13.

Premier Mark McGowan warned WA residents in the NT to come home immediately or risk being locked out.

“We know the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around much of the country and unfortunately the Northern Territory is now too seeing an accelerating caseload in the community,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We have moved swiftly on Northern Territory to reduce the risk of more Omicron cases in self-quarantine.

“Our controlled border remains a vital tool to protect WA as we work to push our vaccination rates as high as possible towards (the reopening date of) February 5, including third doses and vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds.

“We are well on track to exceed our 90 per cent double dose target in the lead up to our safe transition.”

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