Changes to Test Trace Isolate and Quarantine (TTIQ) requirements have been announced for the ACT’s reopening on Friday 15 October.
Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerryn Coleman revealed the focus will no longer be attempting to trace the movements of every positive case.
“Our high vaccination rates, the success of our social measures and the ongoing analysis of these processes has given us a level of comfort in diverting our attention away from those cases that carry a lower risk of onward transmission and really focusing on those situations where there’s a high risk of transmission.”
The following TTIQ changes will begin on Friday 15 October.
Secondary contact won’t need to quarantine
While close contacts will still be advised to maintain separation from other household members, it will no longer be a requirement for secondary contacts to quarantine for 14 days.
TTIQ requirements for positive cases and close contacts will remain the same though, including 14 days of isolation and appropriate testing.
Some Casual exposure sites won’t be listed
Only Casual exposure sites that present a higher risk of public health impact will be listed once restrictions ease.
Dr. Coleman said Casual exposure sites and casual contacts with low public health risk will no longer be investigated.
“For sites, what I’m talking about is where the case is a customer or a non-staff member who has spent a shorter amount of time in and around certain venues.”
When that is the case, the following locations will be considered low risk and generally won’t be listed as an exposure site:
- Takeaway cafes and restaurants
- Click & Collect retail venues
- Contactless food delivery
- Pharmacies (in some instances)
- Large retail venues where the infectious person used self-service
- Public transport
- Petrol Stations
- Outdoor public venues like playgrounds or sporting grounds
Monitor for Symptom exposure sites won’t be listed
ACT Health has now determined the risk of onward transmission from Monitor for Symptom sites is very low, especially when COVID-safe behaviours are being undertaken like mask wearing.
Given this low transmission risk, the decision has been made to no longer list these sites.
There will be no changes to COVID-19 testing requirements when the ACT reopens as it remains a critical response in the fight against the virus.
Dr. Coleman urges Canberrans to continue following testing requirements once restrictions ease.
“Please everyone, continue to get tested immediately if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been to a Close contact exposure location, whether you are vaccinated or not.”
It’s hoped these changes will mean less time in quarantine for Canberrans and less disruptions for businesses.
Dr. Coleman has stressed the need for cooperation though as the ACT is still navigating its way through the pandemic.
“We all have a part to play moving forward. The easing of our social measures of course presents an increased risk in general so the success of these changes do actually depend on us doing the right thing.”
Further changes will be announced as the Nation’s Capital eases restrictions further, with the next update scheduled on 29 October.