29 January 2021

UPDATED: ACT ends travel ban as Sydney records 12th day with no local COVID-19 transmissions

| Dominic Giannini
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has removed travel restrictions on Sydney’s Cumberland LGA. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The final restrictions on travelling to Sydney or coming to Canberra from the Habour City will end at 3:00 pm today after NSW recorded its 12th consecutive day with no local transmission of COVID-19.

The Cumberland local government area was the only location in Sydney that Canberrans could not visit without needing to quarantine upon returning to the ACT. Non-residents who had been to the LGA could not legally enter the Territory.

Just over 20 people quarantining in the ACT who had been to the Cumberland area will be able to exit confinement today, bringing the total number of people in quarantine to less than 200. This compares to around 8,000 people who were in quarantine while restrictions were in place for Greater Sydney and Brisbane.

The vast majority currently quarantining are diplomats and returned Commonwealth officials.

Nine LGAs in Sydney were taken off the blacklist last week, but Cumberland remained due to an exposure site in the middle of January.

ACT Health said it would monitor the area for a full incubation period of 14 days, which came to an end today.

READ ALSO Sydney tour group causes Parliament House COVID-19 concern

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman acknowledged the ACT community and public health staff for their hard work during this busy and uncertain period over the past six weeks.

“I would like to thank Canberrans for their efforts in keeping our community safe during this time,” Dr Coleman said.

“We know that these restrictions have been challenging, with many travel plans changed or cancelled, and many people have been required to quarantine at different periods of time.

“While the situation across Australia is encouraging, we must all continue to follow the public health advice to keep the ACT community safe from COVID-19.”

The easing of ACT restrictions comes just days after a tour group from Cumberland sparked concerns after visiting Parliament House on Australia Day.

ACT Policing is investigating the incident, but Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the risk to the public remains very low.

Canberrans have been reminded to remain vigilant despite the ACTs record. People with symptoms are being urged to get tested.

For information about free testing clinics across the ACT, please visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/testing.

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