The ACT’s lockdown has been extended for an additional two weeks as the Territory continues to battle with the delta strain of COVID-19.
It’ll now run until Midnight on Friday 17 September.
It comes as the ACT records 13 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
Of those at least 8 were in the community while infections, 7 of the new cases have been linked while 6 remain under investigation
As part of the extension, changes to the existing restrictions will come into effect from 5pm on Thursday 2 September.
We’ll now permitted 2 hours of outdoor exercise each day, outdoor workers such as gardeners and landscapers will be able to return to work under COVID safe plans and there’ll be slight increase in the number of people able to attend weddings and funerals in the Territory.
Outdoor gatherings with up to five people can now take place.
The planned restart of construction for larger scale and civil projects has also been given the final green light to go ahead from this Friday.
The Government said planning remains ongoing for the second stage of the sectors reopening, including residential construction, likely to begin the following week 10 September.
Canberra’s school students will remain at home for the remainder of Term 3 with planning underway for how public schools will operate during Term 4.
Support payments for Canberrans who’ve lost work will continue to be made available during the extended lockdown.
The COVID-19 Business Support Grants scheme has also been increased to a maximum of $20,000 for employing businesses and $7,500 for non-employing eligible businesses.
Below are the amendments to the Public Health Direction that come into effect from 5pm this Thursday 2 September:
- one household (any size) or up to 5 people can gather outdoors for up to 2 hours for exercise or non-organised recreation.
- outdoor playgrounds, fitness stations and dog parks will reopen. Canberrans are asked to ensure that they maintain physical distancing wherever practicable.
- the number of people able to attend a funeral increased to no more than 20 people (excluding the people necessary to conduct the funeral).
- the number of people able to attend a wedding increased to no more than 10 attendees (excluding the celebrant, but including persons being married and two witnesses).
- other religious ceremonies which are time critical are permitted to go ahead with no more than 10 people (excluding those conducting the service).
- the recommencement of services that operate outdoors and where physical distancing can be maintained, such as outdoor maintenance and gardening and dog grooming services.
Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said while the Territory is faring well in it’s fight against the virus, we’re yet to claim the win.
“We still have unlinked cases in the community and we still have cases who are infectious in the community.”
“So we’re asking Canberrans to continue to stay at home and to minimise to close contact with others outside of your household to reduce the transmission potential of the virus.”
After three weeks of lockdown, the Territory’s reproduction rate of the virus has been reduced to below one.
“This means that across the community, each person who is infected with the virus, is infecting less than one other person.”
For comparison, the reproductions rate in New South Wales remains above one and continues drive increasing transmission across the state.