UPDATED 3:20 pm, 8 July: COVID-19 restrictions in the Territory were set to be eased this Friday (10 July), but Chief Minister Andrew Barr now says moving to the next stage of the recovery plan is in doubt after three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the ACT today (8 July).
Mr Barr made the announcement on the same day the ACT’s ban on Victorians entering the Territory came into effect.
The final decision on whether the Territory will move to the next stage of its recovery roadmap will be made by the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, tomorrow.
“In the next 24-hours, I will seriously be having a look at what this means for the ACT, as well as looking at the number of travellers that have come in and what the implications are,” she said.
“At this point in time, I am not considering going backwards [on restrictions]. I think the most that would be requested is a pause on where we are just to assess the situation and see how things go.”
If restrictions are to ease on Friday, smaller venues will be able to have a maximum of 25 patrons per usable space. The one person per four square metre rule will still be in place for the majority of places; however, venues with 50 to 100 square metres of usable space will be able to have 25 people excluding staff.
Nightclubs can also operate as bars while there will be no limit on group sizes at pubs and bars – up from a 10 person limit.
However, the Territory will not move to a blanket one person per two square metre rule for at least another month, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.
The ACT will also move in line with the national guidelines to allow 25 per cent of Canberra Stadium’s seated capacity at Raiders and Brumbies games for the weekend after a successful trial at last week’s home games. The new limit means around 6000 fans will be able to attend.
Gyms that operate on a 24-hour basis will be allowed to have 25 people without supervision while full contact sport can also resume.
Spectators for indoor sports venues will have to follow the same 25 per cent seated capacity rule but outdoor events will be allowed to have up to 250 spectators.
Casinos, gambling and gaming venues have been given the green light and dine-in food courts are back on the menu.
Steam-based services, including saunas, steam rooms, steam cabinets and bathhouses, as well as strip clubs, brothels, escort agencies can all resume trading from Friday as well.
A further roadmap is yet to be announced for higher-risk activities including mass gatherings at festivals, conventions and nightclubs, but any movements on these events will be post-July, the ACT Government said.
Full details on the Stage 3 restrictions are available from the COVID-19 website.