The run-up to Christmas is about to get a lot more festive, with ACT Health announcing a further easing of stage three COVID-19 restrictions in the Territory.
From next Friday (13 November), gatherings can increase from 200 to a maximum of 500 people for each usable space, subject to density restrictions being met, and patrons will be able to eat and drink outdoors while standing rather than having to be seated.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the decision to further ease restrictions was guided by public health principles.
“We are confident in our position and that we can continue our journey of opening the ACT back up in a COVID-safe way,” Dr Coleman said.
She said improving conditions in NSW had lowered the risk to the ACT and Canberra businesses, venues and facilities now had well-established COVID-19 safety plans in place.
An increase in electronic recording of contact details would support tracing efforts in the event of a new COVID-19 case or outbreak.
“The change to allow eating and drinking while standing in outdoor spaces reflects the considerable evidence that outdoor spaces present a lower risk of transmission of COVID-19 compared to indoor spaces,” Dr Coleman said.
“It has also been great to see more and more people and businesses download the Check-in CBR app since it was launched in early September. We now have around 1700 venues registered and more than 32,000 downloads.
“As we continue to adjust to a new COVID normal, electronic check-in systems will be important to ensure we can carry out contact tracing quickly and easily should there be new cases of COVID-19 in the ACT.”