By Helene Fung
A 53 year old man who recently returned from Queensland will be summoned to appear in Perth Magistrates Court for Failing to Comply with Direction after he defied quarantine directions and attended a backpackers and the Northbridge Hotel.
According to WA Police, the man arrived in Perth Friday evening without having applied to re-enter WA.
He reported having non-COVID related symptoms on arrival, and was permitted to enter WA for treatment at a hospital, taken by ambulance.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Paul Steel explained in a press conference that when seeking treatment, the man was not under arrest, and was therefore not accompanied by any police officers.
After treatment, the man was instructed to wait for transport to hotel quarantine, but apparently left prior to transport arriving.
It is alleged that the man then walked to a backpackers in Northbridge, and was then located in Hotel Northbridge by Police within 20 minutes of his arrival. Police spoke with management of the hotel, who voluntarily decided to close the hotel and undertake deep cleaning.
The man has now been directed to hotel quarantine under 24×7 police guard. He had been tested for COVID-19 on Saturday as a precautionary measure, and the results were negative.
Shadow Police Minister Peter Katsambanis called the breach “unacceptable”, and questioned why the man was not under police guard when he left the hospital.
“He could have infected hundreds of people with COVID-19. He was a serious risk, and he should not have been allowed to get out,” said Mr Katsambanis, who is calling for an independent assessment of the quarantine and border security system.