WA Premier Mark McGowan to speak after national cabinet

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West Australian Premier Mark McGowan will speak this afternoon following a national cabinet meeting where a new definition of COVID-19 close contacts was agreed to by the Commonwealth, state and territory leaders.

He is also expected to up the public on the extent of the latest virus outbreak in the state, where the risk has now reached the state’s South West region with exposure sites now listed as far south as Bunbury.

Mr McGowan attended the national cabinet meeting where it was agreed the definition of a close contact would be changed to mean someone who has been with a confirmed case for more than four hours within a household.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the change would take place from midnight tonight in NSW, Victoria, the ACT, South Australia and Queensland and in Tasmania from midnight on January 1.

Western Australia will likely follow suit when it opens its borders on February 5.

Testing requirements were also discussed at the meeting as Omicron sweeps the country with more than 20,000 new cases recorded nationwide on Thursday.

Mr Morrison said the change to the definition of a close contact was “practical” and would help take pressure off testing systems.

“It’s not someone who has been in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone who has been a contact,” Mr Morrison said at a press conference in Canberra on Thursday.

The meeting came as it was revealed COVID-19 had made it to the South West.

By Wednesday evening, health authorities added nine new locations to its list of exposure sites which spread out from Perth down to Bunbury.

The sites include two carparks at Preston Beach and Bunbury for five days from Christmas Eve.

The health advice for people who were on a B56 Australind train ride from Bunbury to Perth on Tuesday between 2.45pm and 5.15pm, at Belliar Village Liquorland on Friday between 4pm and 5pm, and the Aviary Bar in Perth on December 22 from 7pm to 9.30pm is to get tested immediately and isolate until getting a result.

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