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Perth COVID-19 outbreak: More than 400 partygoers who attended Mess Hall forced to isolate

More than 400 partygoers who attended an event where a French backpacker infected several people have been ordered to go into isolation until January 3, robbing them of enjoying Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations with loved ones.

WA on Friday recorded five new local COVID-19 cases tied to a French backpacker who arrived from Queensland earlier this month, prompting the introduction of a new public health rule.

All were at an event at the Mess Hall on Sunday, Premier Mark McGowan has revealed.

The event was packed with up to 400 people. Not all of the new cases are known to the 25-year-old.

It’s believed 100 people from the hostel attended the event at the Mess Hall, in Perth on Sunday night, which has been listed as an exposure site.

Mr McGowan said he now expected more cases in the state as a result of the new outbreak.

“Our health authorities will upgrade the contact status for the Mess Hall event. This means that anyone who attended the event must get tested and self quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure,” Mr McGowan said, meaning they’ll be in quarantine until January 3.

Mr McGowan said he expected more positive cases to follow, “especially as we’re still in the infectious period from the exposure date”.

Police presence outside the Old Fire Station Backpackers in Fremantle following a positive COVID case in Perth on Thursday. Kelsey Reid
Camera IconPolice presence outside the Old Fire Station Backpackers in Fremantle following a positive COVID case in Perth on Thursday. Kelsey Reid Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

The Premier also revealed authorities had locked down the Old Fire Station hostel in Fremantle, with as many as 100 of its occupants believed to have attended the Mess Hall event.

“As this accommodation is not suitable to self quarantine in, everyone staying in that hostel will now be provided more suitable accommodation to complete their quarantine period,” the Premier said.

The new cases have also triggered the State Government to limit licensed hospitality venues to seated service only.

“With the detection of these new cases, and the large number of tests underway, more positive cases are expected – especially as we’re still in the infectious period from the exposure date,” he said.

“So, from 6pm tonight, we will apply the seated service only requirements for all licensed hospitality venues.

“This is on top of the public health and safety measures we introduced yesterday, including mask-wearing, banned dancing (except at weddings) and the closure of high-risk entertainment venues and large-scale events.

“These additional requirements are in place until Tuesday morning December 28, which will help us further limit any potential spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

Some 10,267 COVID tests were undertaken Wednesday.

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