As much of Western Australia enters day one of a five-day impromptu lockdown, after a security guard tested positive for the more contagious UK variant of the Covid-19 vaccine, ARA boss Paul Zahra has said local governments need to stop treating business like a light switch.
WA Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement came as a shock to many, and caused panic buying queues to form at supermarkets as people rushed to get their hands on essentials and, of course, toilet paper.
While the lockdown is in action WA residents will have their movement restricted, only able to leave their homes for food and essentials, meaning most retailers are once again being asked to close their doors for at least a week – if not more, depending on how the virus spreads.
“We have been living with Covid for nearly a year now with ample time to get reasonable business communication in place,” Zahra said.
“With a hot spot approach showing powerful results around the country, it makes little sense to continue shutting down local economies whenever new cases emerge, let alone just one case.
“We cannot be treating businesses light a light switch and turn things off when a case pops up. It’s not responsible or safe for businesses to find out what’s imposed via the media with no opportunity for preparation or input – particularly when there is a panic reaction from the public.”
The lockdown will remain in effect until 6pm Friday 5th, and affects the Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region.
Masks are mandatory for anyone leaving their house to shop for essentials or food.