People from Victoria planning on travelling to the ACT will have to get in before 12.01am Wednesday 8 July, as a strict travel ban is introduced in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in parts of Melbourne.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr today announced tough new border restrictions for Victorians travelling to the ACT, following NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement her state would temporarily close their border to Victoria.
For flights arriving into the ACT from tomorrow, anyone from Melbourne will be required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense or return to Victoria.
These restrictions will be further enhanced from 12.01am Wednesday, at which point anyone travelling from Victoria will be denied entry to the ACT unless they are granted an exemption by either the NSW or ACT governments.
Residents of the ACT or NSW will be able to return home from Victoria following the travel ban coming into effect but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
“We’re also strongly advising Canberrans to not travel to Victoria for any reason other than absolutely essential purposes,” Mr Barr said.
Dispensation for Victorians seeking to travel to the ACT or NSW for essential purposes or compassionate reasons will be granted if certain criteria are met.
Mr Barr said the travel restrictions are a temporary measure that will remain in place while the NSW-Victoria border is closed.
He said with these border measures in place, the ACT will still be able to move into stage three of the COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions Roadmap this Friday, which will be outlined in further detail later this week.
While Mr Barr said the changes moving to Stage 3 are “relatively minor”. From 10 July, restrictions will be eased to allow for return to full-contact competition for all sports, dine-in food courts to reopen, and for things to get steamy once again: saunas and bathhouses will be allowed to operate, as well as steam-based beauty services, plus strip clubs, brothels and escort agencies.
There are currently 645 active cases in Victoria, while in the last 24 hours there have been 127 new cases reported.
As at 6 July, 12 Melbourne postcodes where concentrated outbreaks have been detected are currently under stay at home restrictions, requiring residents to only leave the house to shop for food and essential items; provide care giving or to seek medical treatment; exercise; or work or study provided they cannot do so from home.
ACT Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, said there remains no new cases of COVID-19 in the ACT, marking a month since the Territory has recorded a new case.