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Perth wakes to second day of lockdown as expert calls for hotel quarantine rethink

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Perth is waking up to its second day of a snap COVID-19 lockdown as residents anxiously await the results of contact tracing efforts.

Perth is waking up to its second day of a snap lockdown as an infectious diseases expert warned COVID-19 outbreaks would continue as long as the majority of the population remained unvaccinated.

Locals are anxiously awaiting the results of contact tracing efforts, which so far have turned up two local cases since the original case - a Victorian man released from hotel quarantine - sent the city into lockdown on Friday.

The latest case was announced yesterday as a man in his 40s, believed to have caught the virus from the Victorian at the Kitchen Inn in Kardinya on April 18.

READ MORE: WA Premier blasts Federal Government over hotel quarantine assistance

It has prompted a new list of public exposure sites, with everyone who dined at six different restaurants across Northbridge, Kardinya and Morley on particular days urged to isolate and get tested.

Anzac Day services across Perth and Peel have been cancelled, with residents instead forced to participate from their driveways for the second year in a row.

Among them was World War Two veteran Jack McCrae, who hosted a socially-distanced driveway ceremony after being told he would be unable to march.

The 94-year-old is the last surviving Australian to have witnessed the end of the Second World War. He was on the USS Missouri in 1945 when the Japanese officially surrendered.

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University of Queensland infectious diseases physician Dr Paul Griffin warned that hotel quarantine breakouts remained inevitable, even as he questioned the necessity of a large-scale lockdown.

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"The lockdowns come into their own when the capacity of our contact tracers is exceeded - I'm not sure that's the case with the number of cases we have now," he told Weekend Today.

"It's a difficult decision."

He noted that using city hotels for quarantine remained "such a vulnerability" in Australia's approach to containing the coronavirus, particularly as numbers reached record heights overseas in countries like India and new, more infectious variants become widespread.

"We need to look from the ground up look at the infrastructure, including things like the ventilation, how it is managed and see if there is a better solution - we need to do that fairly quickly," he said.

It follows calls yesterday from WA Premier Mark McGowan for the federal government to step in and open federal quarantine facilities to prevent future outbreaks.

"I'm getting to the end of my tether with the Commonwealth handing responsibility to the states and not helping," Mr McGowan told a press conference.

"CBD hotels are not fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities, and quarantine is the responsibility of the Commonwealth government under the Constitution.

"There are a number of Commonwealth facilities that would be more suitable for quarantine purposes."

Meanwhile in Melbourne, all four household contacts of the Victorian case who returned from Perth have returned negative COVID-19 results.

The 54-year-old man spent five days in Perth while potentially infectious, having been exposed to the coronavirus while quarantining in the Mercure Hotel.

Victorian contact tracers have been able to track down all 265 people who were on board his Qantas QF778 flight from Perth to Melbourne last Wednesday, all of whom will be required to isolate for 14 days and undergo COVID-19 testing.

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Victoria has declared the Perth metropolitan area and Peel region a 'red zone' under its traffic-light border restrictions system, banning all non-Victorians from entering.

Returning locals will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days after their arrival.

Source: 9News

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