22 January 2021

UPDATED: ACT lifts travel restrictions on Sydney, but major population centres still off limits

| Dominic Giannini
Start the conversation
Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced eased restrictions for the Sydney region. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

UPDATED 2:40 pm: The ACT will remove travel restrictions on all of Sydney apart from the Cumberland local government area, and 449 people will be able to leave quarantine from 3:00 pm today (22 January).

Travellers who have been to Sydney but have not entered the Cumberland LGA will not need to quarantine upon arriving in the ACT and non-residents will now be allowed to cross the border.

Non-residents who have been to Cumberland are still not permitted to enter the ACT legally.

The changes are a reflection of the improved situation in Sydney, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

“ACT Health continues to monitor the situation on a daily basis and works with our counterparts in NSW and as soon as we can lift this final restriction safely, we will,” he said.

Restrictions for people visiting high-risk settings, which include hospitals, residential aged care facilities and correctional facilities, have also been eased. However, people who have visited Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland or Blacktown LGAs should not go to any of these facilities for 14-days after leaving the area.

The situation will be reviewed by Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman again next week.

Dr Coleman said that Cumberland remains on the list because of an outstanding exposure location from last week, prompting ACT Health wait a full incubation period of 14-days before making a decision.

READ ALSO Nick’s Twitter serve says it all about Australian Open players’ COVID whinge

“We need another week to monitor what happens in Cumberland before [the restriction] comes off,” she said.

“I would predict that if nothing else happens in that NSW area, we will be looking at removing that at the end of next week.”

NSW has recorded no new cases for five consecutive days.

The Territory’s risk assessment before removing an LGA includes the risk posed by releasing people who are in quarantine in the ACT, Dr Coleman said.

“I think it would be really challenging to ask people to stay in quarantine after we have lifted their LGA off,” she said.

Mr Barr said ACT Policing will continue to conduct compliance operations in the ACT – including on the 112 people who remain in quarantine – but this could include a reduction of border activity.

“[ACT Policing] will continue compliance activities. That has not always involved border activity but it has involved activity inside the ACT,” he said.

Canberrans choosing to travel to Sydney for Australia Day or a long weekend have been advised to monitor the situation and restrictions that are in place across the city.

For more information and up-to-date travel advice please visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.