The man arrived in Western Australia from Brisbane on Monday afternoon, but did not meet the exemption requirements necessary to enter the state, which currently has strict border rules, according to a statement from Western Australia Police.
The man was ordered to leave Western Australia within 48 hours and was sent to a quarantine hotel overnight. The man reportedly made a jaunt after midnight, but was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with breaching an instruction and providing false information.
The man tested negative for Covid-19, police said.
The daring escape comes as Australia struggles to contain a local outbreak of the Delta variant that began on June 16 with a limo driver from Bondi, Sydney, which carried an international flight crew. Now, hundreds of cases are reported each week in New South Wales (NSW), with a handful of cases in neighboring states of Victoria and South Australia.
Australia’s borders have been closed since last year to almost all non-Australians, and even those allowed to enter the country have to pay thousands of dollars to self-quarantine for two weeks in a hotel. Places in state-run quarantine hotels are limited, so fewer tickets are sold for international flights. Thousands of Australians have complained that they have been excluded from the country.
But while border security has been tight, Australia has been slow to vaccinate its people. According to CNN’s Covid vaccine tracker, only 11% of the population is fully vaccinated, which is significantly lower than the UK, where 53% are fully vaccinated, or the US, where 48% are vaccinated.
This meant that when the rapidly spreading Delta variant, which was first detected in India, was found in Australia, there was little protection from the vaccines.
Australia originally planned to vaccinate most of its population with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but then only recommended the dose for people over 60 due to concerns about blood clots.
Australians under the age of 60 are advised to get the Pfizer vaccine, but so far stocks are limited. Another million doses of Pfizer arrived in the country earlier this week, but people under the age of 40 have still not received the vaccine as part of the official schedule.
This is causing concern in states where Delta poses a threat. Health officials are tracing contacts and ordering people who may have been exposed to the virus to self-isolate and get tested.
New South Wales authorities said on Wednesday they had found 110 cases after testing a record 83,477 samples in the past 24 hours.
“Please don’t leave your house unless you have to,” said Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
“It’s really serious. We have done well to stem the growth that other countries have seen around the world with the Delta strain. We have stopped the thousands and thousands of cases that other countries around the world have experienced. Our vaccination rates are so high. low, yet we have been very successful in stemming the growth of the virus. “
“What we need to do now is cancel it, because with the vaccination rates as they are, we will not be able to live freely and safely unless we can cancel this current epidemic,” he said. she declared.
Greater Sydney is expected to remain stranded beyond July, and on Tuesday Victoria’s blockade was extended for another seven days.
The state’s chief medical officer, Brett Sutton, said the Delta variant is more contagious and moves faster than previous outbreaks in Australia.
“We will not take the risk of opening too early. “