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McGowan defends snap WA virus lockdown

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has defended imposing a snap coronavirus lockdown set to cost the local economy about $70 million.

No new locally acquired cases were reported on Tuesday as Perth and the Peel region emerged from the three-day lockdown.

The state recorded four new infections among returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Interim restrictions remain in place in WA until 12.01am on Saturday, including the mandatory wearing of face masks and limits on gatherings.

Some hospitality venues have opted to remain closed until restrictions are eased, with initial treasury estimates suggesting a $70 million hit to the economy.

"Obviously if we went into a long-term lockdown, if we had community spread, the cost would be many, many billions and tens of thousands of jobs," Mr McGowan told reporters.

"That was the choice we faced.

"I know there is a lot of anger about lock downs, particularly in some of the media commentators in the east and some sections of the community. But the alternative, where we have the virus running riot ... is unthinkable."

Two locally acquired infections have been found from more than 37,000 tests after the virus leaked out of Perth's Mercure quarantine hotel.

WA's health department was aware of ventilation issues at the Mercure but had believed the risk could be mitigated.

The outbreak has renewed hotel quarantine concerns and prompted calls for the federal government to invest in purpose-built facilities.

Mr McGowan said there was nothing stopping the Commonwealth from removing deportees from Christmas Island so it could be used as a quarantine facility.

"They can obviously move them back to whichever prison they were in, and they can move them into one of the secure facilities on the mainland if they wish to," he said.

"I think they do need to use a bit more thought, and a bit more flexibility and a bit more effort to assist in finding solutions to this problem."

All direct passenger flights into Australia from India are being suspended until May 15 as the subcontinent giant deals with an escalating coronavirus catastrophe.

Mr McGowan had urged the federal government to implement such a move, describing India as the "epicentre of death and destruction".

The guest at the Mercure whose infection led to the outbreak had secured an exemption to travel to India last December to get married.

He and his bride tested positive in hotel quarantine upon returning to Australia earlier this month.

Genomic testing has confirmed the virus spread from the couple to several other guests in nearby rooms, including a Melbourne man who did not test positive until after he had completed quarantine and spent five days in the community.

He went on to infect two other people.

Authorities have identified 368 close contacts of confirmed cases and 255 had by Tuesday returned negative test results.

WA's cap on international arrivals will be halved to 512 a week for the next month with Mr McGowan not ruling out extending the reduction.

© AAP 2021