23 June 2021

ACT shuts border to seven Sydney LGAs, new requirements for recently returned travellers

| Dominic Giannini
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Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The ACT has shut its border to non-residents who have visited seven local government areas in the Greater Sydney region just days ahead of school holidays.

Returning residents will be subject to a seven-day stay-at-home order until 11.59 pm on Wednesday, 30 June if they arrive in the ACT after 4:00 pm today (23 June). Anyone subject to a stay-at-home order must travel directly to their residence once they enter the Territory.

Anyone aged 12 years and above subject to stay-at-home orders must wear a mask when leaving the house for an approved reason, such as shopping for essential supplies, medical treatment and exercise (except during vigorous exercise).

Non-residents will need to receive an exemption to enter the Territory at least 24 hours ahead of travel.

The seven LGAs are the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra.

Transiting through these areas is acceptable if you do not leave your car, and travel through Sydney Airport is acceptable in some circumstances.

Masks will need to be worn at Sydney Airport.

Anyone in the ACT who has been in the broader Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Nepean Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions of NSW in the past 14 days will need to complete an online declaration form on the COVID-19 website.

People do not need to wear a mask in the ACT if they arrived from one of the seven LGAs before 4:00 pm today.

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Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the health advice did not extend to people who have recently arrived in the ACT as mask-wearing is usually brought in when there is evidence of community transmission, which has not occurred in the ACT.

The measures come into place as the Bondi cluster grew to 31 today, and states and territories began to reinstate hard borders or travel restrictions with NSW.

A list of exposure locations in NSW can be found on the NSW Health website.

The ACT will redesignate the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre as a testing-only facility as demand for COVID-19 testing is expected to increase.

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr urged Canberrans to avoid unnecessary travel to Sydney.

“The best and easiest way you can help now is by not travelling to Sydney,” he said.

“Do not be complacent. Take this seriously. It is serious.”

Mr Barr said he did not envisage border checkpoints and roadblocks at this stage but said nothing could be ruled in or out during the pandemic.

Around 260 close contacts of exposure site visitors and around 30 household contacts are currently quarantining in the ACT.

There are around 400 people currently in quarantine in the ACT overall, including returned diplomats and Commonwealth officials.

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No border checkpoints make this a waste of time

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