07/01/2022 - 12:26

No new cases, mask mandate eased

07/01/2022 - 12:26

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The mask mandate implemented in the wake of the latest COVID-19 outbreak will be partially lifted from tonight, after Western Australia recorded no new local cases overnight.

No new cases, mask mandate eased
Mr Cook said masks would still be required in hospitals and aged care settings, on public transport and in rideshare vehicles.

The mask mandate implemented in the wake of the latest COVID-19 outbreak will be partially lifted from 6pm tonight, after Western Australia recorded no new local cases overnight.

During a press conference this afternoon, Acting Premier Roger Cook confirmed masks would now only be required in hospitals and aged care settings, on public transport and in rideshare vehicles, with the mandate to be lifted for hospitality venues and events.

Existing proof of vaccination requirements, however, will remain in place for those attending nightclubs, music festivals and events and hospitality venues with capacity for more than 500 people.

Mr Cook said that while the state government expected some of those in hotel quarantine to subsequently test positive in the coming days, he was confident the state was on top of the situation and the outbreak could be contained.

The mask mandate was one of a handful of restrictions reintroduced on December 23 for those in the Perth and Peel regions after a COVID-positive backpacker flew from Queensland to WA and attended a 500-person event in Perth’s CBD.

The state government introduced strict measures for hospitality venues, included seated service only, and a suite of large-scale events, including those planned for New Years Eve, were cancelled.

Since then, the number of people infected as part of the outbreak, dubbed the ‘Delta backpacker cluster’, has risen to 21.

The number of potential exposure sites between Broome and Dunsborough remains at 156.

Meanwhile, genomic sequencing has confirmed a security guard who contracted the virus while working at the Hyatt Hotel and a close contact of his have the Omicron variant - marking WA’s first case of Omicron transmission in the community.

The state's vaccination rate continues to climb, with more than 33,000 vaccines administered yesterday.

The vaccination rate for first doses now stands at 93.5 per cent for those over the age of 12, with almost 90 per cent now fully vaccinated.

About 12 per cent of those over the age of 16 have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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