A one-year-old baby and child, 8, have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Western Australia – after voters in the state called for Mark McGowan to set a date for the border opening
- Two children, one and eight tested positive for coronavirus in Western Australia
- Both children are in hotel quarantine after returning from overseas with family
- New poll shows most West Australians want the state borders to open back up
- Premier Mark McGowan brushed aside the findings of the new poll on Tuesday
- WA has 55 active COVID-19 cases but recorded no local transmission since April
A one-year-old baby and eight-year-old child have tested positive for coronavirus in Western Australia as residents call for the state to open its borders.
Both children are in hotel quarantine after returning from overseas travel with their families, the WA Health Department confirmed on Tuesday.
Western Australia now has 55 active cases but has recorded no local transmission since April.
The state’s cases are entirely confined to people in hotel quarantine and the numbers are inflated by infected crew members from sheep carrier Al Messilah and cargo ship Key Integrity.
Premier Mark McGowan has continued to dodge questions and brushed aside findings of a new poll showing most residents want him to set a date to reopen the borders.
A one-year-old baby and eight-year-old child have tested positive for coronavirus in Western Australia as residents call for the state to open its borders. Pictured: Testing in Perth
Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) has continued to dodge questions and brushed aside findings of a new poll showing most residents want him to set a date to reopen the borders
The poll, commissioned by Tourism Council WA, has revealed 70 per cent of West Australians support setting a tentative date for easing the hard borders.
It showed similar support for opening to states with low or zero transmission of the virus.
WA’s chief health officer Andy Robertson is due to provide the government with updated health advice this week amid growing speculation the border restrictions will soon be eased.
Every other state and territory is due to reopen by Christmas.
‘There’s lots of polls around on various issues. I generally don’t comment,’ Mr McGowan said on Tuesday.
‘Most people just want to be kept safe, that’s my perception. And that’s certainly the view of the chief health officer – you need to be cautious.’
Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the state’s tourism industry had lost $2.4 billion since the border closure in early-April.
People are seen at Scarborough Beach in Perth during the coronavirus pandemic, with the state closing its borders to the rest of Australia
Customers are given face masks to wear before being allowed entry into the Apple Store in Perth
More than 40 per cent of tourism businesses remain on JobKeeper.
‘The decision to open WA’s border should be based on health advice, rather than popularity – however, it is clear the people of Western Australia want there to be a plan for the inevitable opening of the state,’ he said.
‘After nearly seven months of a hard border, we should plan and prepare to reopen to COVID-safe states.
‘Without JobKeeper and interstate bookings for 2021, the tourism industry will lose the ability to recover.’
Police officers are seen stopping drivers at an intrastate checkpoint on the Forrest Highway near the border of the Peel and South West regions, south of Perth
State and federal Liberal MPs and other industry groups have also called for greater certainty on when the state borders will reopen.
Clive Palmer’s challenge of WA’s hard borders will be heard by the full bench of the High Court next week.
The billionaire mining magnate launched the case after being denied an exemption to enter WA.
‘We are of the view that we will be successful in the High Court and we will prove the case that the borders were lawful and they were based upon health advice and keeping people safe,’ Mr McGowan said.