27 July 2021

ACT lifts stay at home orders across three jurisdictions, borders remain shut

| Dominic Giannini
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Rachel Stephen-Smith

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has warned Canberrans against non-essential interstate travel at the current time. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The ACT will lift stay at home orders imposed on people across three jurisdictions as Victoria, South Australia and three local government areas in NSW wind back lockdown measures from midnight tonight (27 July).

Some restrictions will remain in place for Victoria and South Australia, including certain mask requirements, while people in the Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Shire Council will return to the same restrictions as the rest of regional NSW.

People who have spent time in South Australia or Victoria in the past 14 days will need to complete an online declaration form within 24-hours of arriving in the ACT. The declaration form is available at www.covid19.act.gov.au.

The declaration form will no longer be required for people who have spent time in the Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Shire Council LGAs.

But it looks unlikely that people subject to stay at home orders in the ACT after arriving from the Greater Sydney region will have any reprieve to their mandatory 14 days of isolation after Tuesday’s update revealed two deaths and a record 172 local cases, 60 of whom were in the community during their infectious period.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said an announcement regarding the state of the city’s lockdown could be made as early as tomorrow (28 July).

The extension of Sydney’s lockdown was due to end at midnight this Friday (30 July).

There are 760 people quarantining in Canberra after visiting a COVID-19-affected area. A further 667 people are subject to stay at home orders.

As of 4:00 pm yesterday (26 July), most of the stay at home orders are for people from Victoria (617). Forty-one people from South Australia are also subject to stay at home orders.

These restrictions will be lifted.

Nine people from NSW are subject to stay at home orders, but it is currently unclear whether they arrived from Greater Sydney or one of the three LGAs which have had restrictions overturned.

READ ALSO ACT to keep Pfizer stocks as NSW pleads for more doses

Victoria and South Australia remain shut to ACT residents as both states have declared the Territory a high-risk zone.

Only returning residents or someone with an exemption may enter Victoria from Canberra and must undergo 14 days of quarantine.

Returning residents cannot enter South Australia from Canberra without an exemption and must also undergo 14 days of quarantine.

Canberrans are still being urged to reconsider their need for non-essential interstate travel at the current time to minimise the risk of the virus entering the Territory.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has told Canberrans that the situation can change quickly and new restrictions can be put in place at little notice.

On Friday, Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT would be prepared to move fast and hard on any restrictions, especially in relation to a Canberra region bubble if the virus begins to seed outside Greater Sydney.

“If we know we need to [create the bubble], we will do that as quickly as we possibly can with as much detail as we possibly can,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

A hard border with NSW has been ruled out.

There are no cases of COVID-19 in the ACT and recent wastewater testing – now occurring twice a week – is returning negative results.

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