The ACT Chief Minister has made it clear travel restrictions still apply between the Territory and New South Wales, despite an easing of restrictions in our neighbouring state overnight.
From today, fully vaccinated New South Wales residents can enjoy a range of freedoms, including the reopening of retail and licensed venues, as the state has surpassed the 70% double-dose COVID-19 vaccination milestone.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the change is not an opportunity for Canberrans to go into New South Wales for non-essential reasons.
“I understand New South Wales will be aggressively enforcing their rules, so ACT residents would face hefty fines if they went across the border into New South Wales. If you’re unvaccinated in particular.”
While New South Wales residents who enter the ACT for essential reasons will be subject to stay-at-home orders once they return home, as the Nation’s Capital is considered an area of concern for the state.
But Mr. Barr has clarified the current travel restrictions between the two jurisdictions will be amended on Friday 15 October once the ACT emerges from lockdown.
“Travel will change on Friday and then it will change again further at the end of October and then in December, when New South Wales drop their vaccinated versus unvaccinated status, travel will free up significantly.”
One change was announced during Monday’s COVID-19 update.
Mr. Barr revealing there’ll be an expansion to the current ACT/NSW regional ‘bubble’ from Friday, with the introduction of additional approved suburbs.
“The number of postcodes within the Canberra region standing exemption will increase and that will be the arrangements really for the last two weeks of October.”
This means residents from additional nearby New South Wales suburbs will be allowed to enter the ACT without an exemption for things like essential work and visiting an ill relative.
Mr. Barr also said New South Wales authorities indicated a further easing of travel restrictions once the state reaches the 80% double dose milestone.
“That would then presumably be a trigger point at which the ACT would also be allowed to travel further into the regions.”
It’s hoped the full details of the travel changes will be announced on Wednesday or Thursday this week.
It comes as the ACT records 32 COVID-19 cases today.
– 11 were in quarantine
– 25 are linked
– 18 COVID-19 patients are in hospital
– Seven are in the ICU and six need ventilation
– More than 70% of the population aged 12 and over are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19
– More than 98% of the population aged 12 and over have received a first dose