UPDATE 10 August 10:30 am: In response to the NSW Government’s announcement of a lockdown for the Tamworth Local Government Area, the ACT Government hs declared Tamworth LGA a COVID affected area.
Anyone who left Tamworth LGA on or after Thursday, 5 August will be required to quarantine for 14 days after leaving the COVID affected area.
If you left Tamworth LGA on or after Thursday, 5 August and are already in the ACT, you must quarantine immediately and call ACT Health on 5124 6500 between the hours of 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
A brief lockdown for the Byron Bay Shire, Ballina Shire, City of Lismore and Richmond Valley Council Local Government Areas was also announced.
In response, the ACT Government will declare these areas as COVID-affected.
Anyone who left these areas on or after 31 July 2021 will be required to quarantine for 14 days after leaving the COVID-affected area.
If you left these LGAs on or after 31 July and are already in the ACT, you must quarantine immediately and call ACT Health on 5124 6500 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.
UPDATE 5:30 pm: Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire local government areas in NSW will go into lockdown from 6:00 pm today after a positive case travelled from Sydney to Bryon Bay.
ACT Health has not yet announced any travel restrictions for people arriving from the area or returned residents who have recently visited the LGAs, but it is likely to introduce measures barring non-residents from the region from entering the Territory and stay at home orders for residents arriving from the region as has been the ACT’s practice throughout the outbreak.
ACT Health was yet to make any official announcements on further measures for the ACT as of 5:00 pm.
The new restrictions were announced at the same time the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) gave provisional approval for the Moderna vaccine to be used in Australia.
Ten million doses of the mRNA vaccine will arrive in the country by the end of the year. One million of these are expected to arrive in mid-September, followed by a further three million in October, November and December.
The vaccine is given in two doses, 28 days apart.
2:00 pm: The ACT remains on high alert as NSW recorded 283 locally acquired cases on Monday (9 August), at least 64 of which were infectious while in the community.
One death was also announced – an unvaccinated woman in her 90s in palliative care.
The numbers are slightly down from a record high of 319 cases on Saturday (7 August).
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was not about the case numbers but rather the number of unvaccinated people contracting the disease. NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said no one who has entered intensive care has been double vaxxed.
Tamworth will enter a lockdown from 5:00 pm today until at least 12:01 am next Tuesday (16 August). There are no cases in the region, but several exposure locations have popped up after a positive case visited the area from Newcastle.
The ACT is likely to introduce restrictions barring non-residents from the region from entering the Territory and stay at home orders for residents arriving from the region in line with NSW, which has been the ACT’s practice throughout the outbreak, but no official announcement has been made yet.
ACT Health said it was monitoring the situation and could introduce “travel directions at short notice to keep Canberrans safe”.
The ACT moved yesterday to introduce stay at home orders for anyone arriving from the Cairns Regional Council and Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council areas from 4:00 pm Sunday, 8 August.
People from these areas cannot enter the ACT without an exemption, and residents in the Territory who have been in these areas since 29 July are also subject to stay at home orders.
The stay at home requirements will last until at least 4:00 pm Wednesday (11 August) in line with the state’s three-day lockdown of the areas, but staff, visitors or volunteers cannot enter high-risk settings for 14 days since they were last in the two regions.
Stay at home requirements for 11 South East Queensland local government areas have been lifted; however, anyone who has spent time in these areas in the past 14 days needs to fill out an online declaration form at least 24-hours before arriving in the ACT.
Queensland will operate a mass vaccination clinic at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from Wednesday (11 August). Anyone aged 16 to 59 will be able to receive the Pfizer jab, and those in the older age cohorts will be given the AstraZeneca jab.
Victoria also expanded access to the vaccine for younger people with the AstraZeneca jab to be made available to all adults at nine state-run vaccination centres.
Doctors will be on-site to provide health advice for people under 40 who want to receive an AstraZeneca jab.
The ACT also expanded its vaccine rollout today (9 August) for the second time in two weeks, with vulnerable Canberrans aged between 12 and 15 years old now eligible to book in for Pfizer.
Vulnerable Canberrans include people with a specified underlying medical condition, people with a disability or Indigenous Australians.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith did not announce any changes to the rollout of the vaccine in the ACT, despite other states expanding eligibility criteria.
Canberrans aged 30 to 39 recently became eligible to book in for Pfizer appointments, and while anyone can speak to their doctor about AstraZeneca, the ACT has refused to administer the vaccine to people under the age of 60 at Territory-run vaccination hubs.
Ms Stephen-Smith has consistently said mass vaccination hubs are not the place to discuss informed consent. The ACT’s Pfizer hub is now offering bookings for eligible people for October.
A third Pfizer hub will open in the ACT once further supply becomes available.