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Premier Mark McGowan announces the new COVID-19 lockdown after a new community transmission case. Image: ABC Perth video feed

The south west corner of the state will go into the lockdown tonight after a hotel security worker tested positive for COVID-19.

In an emergency press conference held early this afternoon, the state government announced the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and South West regions will go into a five day lockdown from 6pm tonight.

The lockdown is the result of a man in his 20s returning a positive test for COVID-19 last night after working in hotel quarantine. It is believed he did not work while infectious.

While genomic testing won’t be available until Tuesday, the state government conceded they were working on the assumption the man had the highly infectious UK strain of the virus.

Under the lockdown starting at 6pm tonight, people will be required to stay at home unless they are shopping for essentials, receiving medical help, have an essential job or exercising for a maximum one hour a day. 

School will be cancelled for the next week, while visits to hospitals, disability and aged care facilities will be banned.

If people do leave the house, they will be required to wear masks. Non essential travel between regions will be banned, with WA Police setting up check points to enforce the restrictions.

In the Perth metropolitan area, Coles Maylands, the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Indian Consulate are among those locations visited by the security guard. Those who have visited those locations are being asked to self isolate and get tested.

All COVID-19 testing clinics will stay open until 10pm tonight, reopening at 8am tomorrow.

Premier Mark McGowan has urged the public to remain calm.

“This is a highly unpredictable virus. There is no need to rush to the supermarket. There will be no shortage of toilet paper”.

It is believed the man in his 20s became infected either Tuesday or Wednesday. It is still not clear how he became infectious.

The measures will not impact other regions of WA, including the Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Midwest and North West. However, the public are advised not to travel to the impacted regions unless they are returning home.

The announcement comes just days after the state government announced the general public would be forced to check in to more locations including supermarkets, hospitals and takeaway food outlets from February 12.

It breaks Australia’s two week run of zero community transmission cases. 

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