The ACT has become first Australian jurisdiction to reach 80% of our 12+ population fully vaccinated.
Reaching the 80% milestone is a significant achievement. Canberrans should be really proud of how our community has worked together and given us the best opportunity to manage the expected increase in cases as the nation starts to reopen.
We are now well on our way to having close to 99% of the eligible population fully vaccinated by the end of November.
As a result of reaching this milestone, the ACT Government is in a position to bring forward the recommencement of non-essential retail to 11:59pm on Thursday 21 under a 1 person per 4 square metres (1 per 4 sqm) rule.
ACT businesses providing essential retail under a click and collect or click and deliver models can also reopen their doors from this Friday at 1 per 4 sqm.
With high vaccination rates and stable average case numbers over the last couple of weeks, the Government will further ease restrictions from the 29 October. This includes the relaxation of capacity limits across a number of different industries including hospitality and major events. From 29 October, food courts in the ACT will also be able to reopen under a 1 per 4 sqm model.
From the 29 October, face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors. Face masks will continue to be required indoors to help slow the spread of the virus.
Subject to the public health risk at the time, the ACT will remove the COVID-Affected Area declaration across NSW from 1 November. This means that ACT residents will not have quarantine when they return to the Territory from any part of NSW – including Greater Sydney.
This aligns with the decision from the NSW Government to allow travel from Greater Sydney into their regional areas from 1 November.
Similar to the arrangements the ACT had in place throughout most of this year, the ACT will move to an individual local government area (LGA) assessment of public health risk from 1 November. This will allow the ACT Chief Health Officer to declare high-risk LGAs as COVID-affected areas with relevant stay at home or quarantine requirements.
The ACT Government will also align our mandatory quarantine requirements for people arriving from overseas with NSW from 1 November.
The Government is continuing to work on the implementation of baseline level public health safety measures (PHSM) in late November / early December. This includes the implementation of 1 per 2 sqm density limits in hospitality settings.
Our priority over the next few weeks will be to continue providing second dose vaccinations to thousands of younger Canberrans. While we have reached the 80% across the entire eligible population, a number of younger age cohorts are yet to reach the milestone. Ensuring these Canberrans are fully vaccinated before moving to baseline PHSM will be critical to a successful reopening of our local economy.