The unfolding situation in Victoria is a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. It has a long way to run, and we will continue to see outbreaks around Australia in the months and years ahead.
All state and territory governments, including the ACT, have to support efforts to reduce the spread of the virus from this outbreak. We need to take appropriate action and implement measures to protect our own community.
A new Public Health Direction has been issued this morning to complement the Victorian Government’s ‘stay at home’ orders in identified COVID-19 hotspots.
Anyone identified as having been in a COVID-19 hotspot in Victoria will be required to quarantine in the ACT for 14 days at their own expense or return to their home jurisdiction at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
Passengers on inbound flights from Melbourne flights will now be asked to provide identification when they arrive at Canberra Airport to support this new direction.
Penalties and fines may apply to people who fail to comply with the Direction.
Anyone already in the ACT who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot is strongly encouraged to quarantine for 14 days from the date they left the hotspot, even if they do not have any symptoms.
In addition, anyone coming into the ACT from the greater Melbourne metropolitan area is asked to closely monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to get tested for even the mildest of symptoms.
Canberrans should not be planning on visiting any of the affected postcodes, and all non-essential travel to Melbourne should be reconsidered for the foreseeable future.
As noted by ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman:
“The situation in Melbourne is concerning and has evolved quickly in the past week.
“COVID-19 cases have increased significantly, and this Direction will help to protect Canberrans and our most vulnerable community members from the potential spread of COVID-19.
“We ask that people respect the Direction and not travel to the ACT from the identified hotspot areas of Melbourne.”