Canberrans have been urged to avoid travel to Greater Sydney due to “steadily rising” cases of COVID-19 in the area, as the ACT Government announced restrictions would not be eased in the Territory from next Friday.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said today the situation in NSW is “of the most direct concern to the ACT”, and the ACT Government would be taking a “cautious approach”.
“At the end of a week that has seen a relatively small but daily increase in confirmed cases across NSW, we are not yet in a position to definitively signal a further easing of restrictions in the ACT from next Friday,” he said.
“Our local situation is positive. There are no new cases today, and we have one active case in the Territory. But we cannot overlook the broader environment. We cannot ignore the risk of a rapid spread of the virus in Canberra if we did start to see more cases in NSW.”
There will be ‘checkpoint’ on Thursday next week (6 August), to assess whether restrictions might be eased further, however the Chief Minister said any further easing is likely to be “relatively minor”.
“It’s very, very unlikely that we will be moving to larger group gatherings in the near future, as had been previously envisaged in stage three,” he said.
For Canberrans who must travel to Greater Sydney, Mr Barr urged them to maintain physical distancing and good hygiene.
“On your return from that travel, we ask that you monitor your symptoms carefully, and get tested if you become unwell,” he said.
The Public Health Direction that legally requires Canberrans who have been in some of the affected locations identified by NSW Health to self-quarantine remains in place.
A statement from the Government today also recommended Canberrans keep up to date with the latest information from NSW Health.
“In addition to the current legal directions, the ACT Government also strongly advises anyone who has visited locations identified by NSW Health to follow the advice being provided by the NSW authorities,” it said.
NSW recorded 21 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. The ACT has just one active case of COVID-19. So far, more than 50,700 negative test results have been recorded.
For more information on COVID-19 in the ACT, including Public Health Directions, visit covid19.act.gov.au