Manjimup Shire Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry have urged South West residents to “look at the big picture” when it comes to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and their impact on the community. The Perth metropolitan, Peel, and South West regions went into a five-day lockdown as of 6pm on Sunday after a Perth hotel quarantine security guard tested positive for the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19. A wide range of businesses and venues were shut down for the week, including schools which are closed until Monday. People in these regions can only leave home while wearing a mask, for reasons such as shopping for essentials or medicine, accessing medical or health care services, exercising within your neighbourhood for one hour a day, or work if you are unable to work from home. Shire president Paul Omodei said he expected the lockdown to once again have a significant impact on the community, but urged everyone to push through. Manjimup Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Paul Griffiths said it was important to support local business through the week, but he would also trade a month of hard lockdown for a year of being in “limbo”. “The biggest hit is obviously to hospitality, there’s going to be hits to everyone, but they’re really struggling,” he said. “This is a huge step backwards for them in terms of their sales, so anyone who has the ability to, this is the week to do takeaway. “If we have one month a year where we need to be shutdown and then we get to be open, and at full capacity, and booming in the other times, that is better than being in a half limbo partly-shutdown situation. “It’s an aggressive call for sure, but the idea is to hit hard early and get back to how we’ve been doing amazing things all year.” Cr Omodei said if people acted responsibly, the situation would not get worse. “I think we’ve got to think about the bigger picture and what could happen if it does spread,” he said. “It will have an impact on business, people who’ve got appointments, who had meetings scheduled in Perth, all those kinds of things. “If people don’t comply we’ll be having more lockdowns and more discomfort. “Let’s hope they can nip it in the bud within the five days, but in the meantime everybody has to comply with the directions of the Premier. “So bear in mind there will be a little bit of discomfort but Friday is not that far away.” Manjimup’s Applewood Orchard owner Vick Grozotis said he thought the impact of the five-day lockdown on the agriculture industry was minimal, but warned it could get much worse if it was extended. “It hasn’t been too bad this week, but if it gets extended further then the impact will most likely be severe,” he said. “I also don’t understand why the State Government think the virus can only travel South. “People mainly travel to coastal regions, so why are agricultural hubs like Manjimup being targeted? “But not places like Northam, which are only an hour north of the city? “I would love to see the scientific research and statistics from the Government explaining why these regions in the south have been locked down specifically, but not others.” Lockdown restrictions for Perth, Peel, and the South West are in place until 6pm Friday, February 5. For more information on restrictions visit www.wa.gov.au/covid19 or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline on 13 26 843.