4 July 2022

Territory records 1134 new COVID-19 infections as international border restrictions to lift

| Lottie Twyford
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Canberra Airport

From Wednesday (6 July), international travellers arriving in Australia will no longer be required to declare their vaccination status. Photo: Region.

The ACT has reported 1134 (555 PCR and 579 RAT) new COVID-19 infections in the latest reporting period to 8 pm last night and there are now 136 people with the virus being cared for in hospital.

Two people are now in the ICU but no one requires ventilation.

Active cases have set a new record with 7488 (4079 PCR and 3441 RAT) known cases in the ACT.

A total of 162,259 (97,073 PCR and 65,186 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Yesterday, there were 130 people in hospital and four people in the ICU as the ACT reported 1031 new infections.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.4 per cent and 77.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 68.9 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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The latest figures come as the Federal Government announced over the weekend it would scrap all remaining international border restrictions.

From Wednesday (6 July), international travellers who arrive in Australia will no longer need to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The change to the country’s Biosecurity Act will mean visa holders can enter the country without needing exemptions.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the government made decisions about COVID-19 based on the latest medical advice.

That advice, he said, had now changed.

“The Chief Medical Officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travellers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID,” he said.

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Travellers are still required to comply with other COVID-19 requirements of airlines and shipping operators, as well as rules imposed by other countries and states and territories.

Masks remain mandatory on inbound international flights and state and territory orders mandating masks on domestic flights remain in place.

Last month, Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron had prepared legal action against the ACT Government arguing the ongoing in-terminal mask mandate was no longer a proportionate health response.

He later rescinded this after governments around the country received updated advice that the mandate was no longer necessary and the ACT Government subsequently removed it.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the eased arrival requirements would encourage more visitors and skilled workers to enter Australia and help reduce airport delays.

“As more and more of us travel internationally and we get more confident in managing our risk of COVID, our airports are getting busier,” she said.

“I know anyone who has travelled internationally since the borders have opened will find this as one less thing to worry about – especially as more Australians get back to travelling overseas.”

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Interstate, NSW has reported one death overnight and 8958 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1725 people in hospital with the virus and 50 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 24 deaths overnight and 7317 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 513 people hospitalised with the virus and 28 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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