Western Australia’s Premier has announced a controversial new social distancing measure, effectively separating mother and baby at birth.
“From next Tuesday, all new arrivals into WA will have to quarantine for 2 weeks,” says Mark McGowan.
“If they test negative for covid once quarantine is complete, they’ll be reunited with their parents.”
The WA Department of Health says the measure aims to reduce the spread of covid-19 between parents, babies and hospital workers.
“Babies will be getting state of the art care, around the clock for the 14 day quarantine period,” says Mr McGowan. “Parents don’t need to worry.”
But the new rule has drawn criticism from mother’s groups.
“It’s a slap in the face for all new parents,” says family rights campaigner Hilda Henricks. “It denies parents important bonding time with their new babies.”
Western Australia currently has some of the toughest state border rules in the country, with anyone from Victoria or NSW locked out.
Meantime, it has been nine months since WA recorded a case of community transmission.