Snap lockdown poses new challenges for businesses

Peak hour traffic on the first day of a snap five-day lockdown in Perth’s CBD.

CCIWA has answered dozens of calls during the first few hours of extended call centre operations as WA enters a five-day lockdown across Perth, Peel and South West regions. 

The Employee Relations Advice Centre (ERAC) opened for calls from 7 am this morning (Monday), to help businesses make sense of the snap lockdown’s impact.

Find our responses to the most frequently asked questions at covid19.cciwa.com.

The lockdown was announced by the WA Government during an emergency press conference yesterday (Sunday) after a security guard at a quarantine hotel tested positive to COVID-19. 

The lockdown came into effect at 6 pm that same day, and is set to end at 6 pm, Friday, February 5.  

People in Perth, Peel and South West regions can only leave their home for essential reasons during the lockdown, which are: 

  • shopping for essentials and medicine; 
  • accessing medical or health care services; 
  • exercise within their local neighbourhood for one hour per day; and 
  • working, if they fall within the essential worker category. 

It is compulsory for people in the affected regions to wear a face mask when they leave home or face a $10,000 on the spot fine.

WA Police are taking a “common sense” approach to this issue however, and allowing people to wear bandanas or scarves while on their way to acquire a mask.

While there are some exceptions to the travel and visitor ban on compassionate grounds and for those caring for vulnerable community members, visitors to the Perth or Peel region have been asked to stay where they are until the lockdown is over. 

A G2G pass system will apply to people who conduct necessary travel between the regions of WA, similar to the one in place during WA’s last lockdown.

The expansion of WA’s mandatory contact tracing system to retail venues, commercial transport, takeaway services, certain outdoor gatherings and all WA hospitals, were initially flagged to begin on February 12.

In light of the current situation, these measures will now take effect from Tuesday February 2.

A range of venues and businesses have been ordered to close, including pubs and bars, clubs, gyms, indoor sporting facilities, playgrounds and skate parks, cinemas and entertainment venues, the casino, religious venues and libraries. 

Restaurants and cafes must also close for dine in services, but can still open for takeaway. 

Funerals can only host 10 guests and all weddings scheduled to occur during the lockdown must be cancelled 

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell yesterday has called the lockdown is a necessary and proportionate response to confirmation that a hotel quarantine worker spent time in the community with COVID-19, potentially with one of the highly transmissible UK variants of the virus. 

The first priority of Government and other decision-makers must be on keeping the community safe.  

As the situation evolves over coming days, it is important that the community fully supports West Australian businesses. 

For more on CCIWA’s response, see our media statement.

We will continue to update our covid19.cciwa.com as more information becomes available, offer free advice to Members about their specific business concerns, and liaise with State Government on the impact of the lockdown. 

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