A number of Australian politicians, including Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, have been forced to undergo quarantine in Canberra following a lockdown imposed in the city of Perth after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for Covid-19.
Politicians who flew from Western Australia (WA), of which Perth is the capital city, to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Sunday evening ahead Parliament resuming on Tuesday were informed on arrival that they were required to immediately quarantine until at least Friday and get tested for the virus, reports Xinhua news agency.
The development comes after WA Premier Mark McGowan announced that the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and South West regions would enter a five-day lockdown from Sunday evening based on “the best of health advice due to a fast-evolving situation in Western Australia with the positive Covid-19 case detected in a hotel quarantine worker”.
Arrivals to Canberra, which included Minister Reynolds, from WA were told of the new conditions by a broadcast on the planes.
“ACT Health advises that all passengers should go directly to their accommodation in a mask, review the WA government website and follow all directions from WA authorities,” passengers were told.
“ACT Health will be in contact directly with passengers should additional advice be required.”
The development has thrown the first parliamentary sitting days of 2021 into confusion.
“We will do everything that we are advised to do,” Reynolds told reporters upon her arrival in Canberra earlier Monday.
ACT Health said in a statement that the department was moving to ensure the safety of the community by asking anybody who has been to the Perth metropolitan area or the Peel and South West regions of Western Australia since January 25 to self-quarantine and get tested for Covid-19.
As of Monday, Australia has registered a total of 28,811 coronavirus cases and 909 deaths.