11 May 2020

COVID-19 rules have been relaxed, but still keep your distance

| Michael Weaver
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Supermarket shoppers with masks on.

Shoppers at Coles in Manuka. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ACT’s chief health officer has reminded Canberrans to maintain physical distancing at all times when out in public, after the first stage of relaxed social distancing restrictions were put into practice over the weekend.

Dr Kerryn Coleman said it was a shame to hear that some people visiting reopened shops or getting takeaway coffee over the weekend were not complying with the 1.5-metre physical distancing requirement.

“As a community, Canberrans have worked really hard to adjust our lifestyles and flatten the curve. However, failing to adhere to physical distancing and social gathering requirements could undermine all of this work very quickly,” Dr Coleman said.

“It is vitally important that we continue to maintain the 1.5-metre physical distancing from other people at all times while we are out in public.

“Groups of more than 10 people are not permitted, and this includes the queues that gather as they wait to be let into shops.

“Maintaining these requirements, as well as practising good hand and respiratory hygiene are the best ways to prevent a new wave of COVID-19 in the ACT.

“The pandemic is not over and it only takes one mistake or lapse in concentration to put our community’s most vulnerable at risk,” Dr Coleman said.

While there are no active cases of the COVID-19 virus, Dr Coleman said people need to play their part to prevent a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the ACT.

“For the second time in eight weeks we are able to record no active cases and this is thanks to the continued efforts from the community to flatten the curve and limit the spread of the virus,” Dr Coleman said.

“If you have flu-like symptoms, or believe you have symptoms then please get tested at one of our testing facilities such as the walk-in facility at Weston creek or the drive-through testing at EPIC Showground.

“People must also continue to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and maintain physical distancing requirements. Doing this is helping to protect our most vulnerable community members.”

The ACT’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is still 107. The number of negative tests in the ACT is now 11,832. Three people have died from COVID-19 in the Territory.

More information about the COVID-19 virus in Canberra can be found on the ACT COVID-19 website.

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You can’t lock down, isolate and physically distance everyone. It’s a medieval walled city model of medicine. The sensible and pragmatic approach is for people who are immuno-compromised, or have flu symptoms to socially distance themselves. Those of us who are fit and well should be at work, at school, on the beach or wherever and getting on with life. The paranoia of a minority is not the reality for the majority.

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