Transport Canberra bus buses on Alinga Street
ACT Health is working to identify a number of close contacts who travelled on public transport with a previously confirmed case of COVID-19. Photo Kerrie Brewer.

Passengers on a bus from Dickson to Kaleen on Tuesday 17 March are being urged to self-quarantine, as ACT Health confirmed they travelled with an already known case of coronavirus.

The number 31 bus in question was scheduled to leave Dickson interchange at 3.33pm, but was delayed and departed at approximately 3.50pm.

ACT Health is working to identify a number of close contacts who travelled on public transport with one of the previous confirmed cases.

Passengers on said bus are under instruction to self-quarantine until 31 March, and should contact the Communicable Disease Control Section of ACT Health on 5124 9213 for more information.

There were seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 24 March, 2 males and 5 females, aged between 21 and 75, which brought the ACT’s total to 39.

ACT Health is undertaking thorough contact tracing, but have confirmed all 7 cases are linked to overseas travel.

There are currently 3 COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals. The rest are isolating at home.

There have been 2,780 negative COVID-19 tests in the ACT to date.

Bus network update delayed

The ACT Government announced today they will delay the Network 19 update that was due to commence at the start of school term 2, while introducing new health measures on buses.

Minister for Transport Chris Steel stressed that members of the public only use bus and light rail services “if absolutely necessary”.

“Transport Canberra will continue to operate the current bus and light rail timetable for the time being, with contingencies prepared should there be a need to reduce services due to COVID-19,” he said.

He advised Canberrans not to use public transport if they feel unwell.

“If you have COVID-19 symptoms and have no other means of transport to get to a centre for testing, please contact Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to arrange alternative travel.” 

Commencing today, a number of health and safety oriented changes were put into place on buses.

Drivers will no longer be accepting cash until further notice. Only MyWay or pre-purchased tickets from ticket vending machines will be accepted.

Customers are also to enter and exit the bus via the rear doors at all stops unless front doors are necessary. Finally, the front seats of the bus will be closed off temporarily.

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