The Territory’s Chief Health Officer has warned against complacency as the ACT remains on track to lift lockdown restrictions from next week.

The warning came amid revelations that some COVID positive Canberrans were waiting between 10-13 days after becoming symptomatic before going to get a test.

Dr Kerryn Coleman said she was ‘alarmed’ to learn that about 40% of people were still waiting up to 2 days to be tested while 10% are waiting 5 or more days.

“These statistics are going in the wrong direction.”

Dr Coleman insisted the ACT’s lockdown is still planned to lift from Friday 15 October but warned Canberrans need to stay the course and remain vigilant over the coming weeks as the virus continues to spread.

“I really need us to be in the strongest possible position as we gradually change these public health measures – simply, we want the lowest possible case numbers and highest possible vaccination coverage.”

“Things can very quickly change.”


“If we don’t maintain our COVID safe behaviors, this may happen.”

View the ACT’s reopening ‘pathway forward‘ here.

The ACT is also moving to mandate the COVID vaccine for frontline healthcare workers in Territory run facilities.

Health Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith said consultation remains ongoing but under the proposed mandate, workers will need to have had their first jab by 29 October and be fully vaccinated by 1 December.

“This is focused on staff who have the highest risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 positive people in hospitals, in any healthcare facility operated by Canberra health Services, in a day hospital, in a hospice and also covering ambulance services and other patient transport.”

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