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Women aged 19 and 22 ‘break out of mandatory hotel quarantine before making a mad dash to a unit’

Two women who allegedly breached quarantine after being refused entry to Western Australia have been taken into custody.

Police allege the women, aged 19 and 22, arrived in Perth on a flight from Adelaide at 8.20pm on Monday night intending to holiday and visit friends.

They were directed to quarantine at the Novotel Hotel in Perth until return flights could be arranged.

Western Australia Police allege the women, who had not applied to enter the state, left the hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning and caught a taxi to a unit block on Malvolio Road, Coolbellup in the city’s south.

Travellers entering the state must apply for an exemption, which is given for a limited number of reasons including giving care, compassionate grounds and to do work deemed essential.

Police attended the units on Tuesday within two hours and took the two women into custody about 4am, WA Police Acting Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said.

They have each been charged with failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act and were due to face Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Act Comm Dreibergs said authorities did not believe the woman posed a ‘significant health risk’ to the state despite not being tested for COVID-19 on arrival.

‘The women haven’t been tested for COVID. We don’t test people that arrive from south Australia for COVID,’ he said.

‘It’s a very serious matter,’ he said. ‘When people do breach quarantine it really does rock the trust of our organisation.’

He said police would now be carrying out an assessment going forward to determine if officers are required at hotels to supervise ‘high-risk’ travellers.  

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