20 July 2020

Travel advice upgraded for Campbelltown and Liverpool, SA delays border opening

| Dominic Giannini
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Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has updated the Territory’s travel advice. Photo: Region Media.

Canberrans are being advised not to travel to Campbelltown or Liverpool after clusters of COVID-19 have been identified in those areas.

The new health advice has been issued by the ACT’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) who again urged ACT residents who have visited the Crossroads Hotel in Casula between 3 and 10 July, as well as people who visited the Picton Hotel on 4 July, 9 July or 10 July to immediately self-isolate.

People who have visited these hotels also need to notify ACT Health and get tested regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

However, people returning from Liverpool or Campbelltown will only need to remain vigilant for symptoms and are not being asked to self-isolate as community transmission is not evident in these parts of Sydney, CHO Dr Kerryn Coleman said.

READ MORE: NSW reintroduces tighter restrictions on pubs.

“One of the most important things when considering public health advice is about it being proportionate and appropriate,” Dr Coleman said.

“At this stage, my advice in the ACT is that there are clusters of concern in these areas, which are quite well contained at the moment and we do know from NSW Health that they are implementing a very strong public health response.

“We will monitor it for up to a week or two and if we feel that there is community transmission, which is what we are seeing in Melbourne but not NSW at the moment, then we may consider providing further advice about travel restrictions.”

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith warned Canberrans who plan on travelling outside the ACT to remain vigilant about COVID-19 restrictions in other jurisdictions, saying the rapidly changing situation could impede travellers with very short notice.

Travel should only be undertaken outside the ACT if it is necessary, Ms Stephen-Smith said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has urged people who attended the Crossroads Hotel or Picton Hotel on the mentioned dates to self-isolate and contact ACT Health immediately. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberrans will also have to wait a little longer before they can freely travel to South Australia after Premier Steven Marshall announced that borders would no longer be opening to ACT and NSW residents on Monday (20 July) as planned.

Canberrans and NSW residents can still travel to South Australia but will need to quarantine for 14-days at their own cost.

All states and territories were scheduled to have free entry into South Australia without quarantining from Monday; however, a hard border with Victoria has been set up after a second outbreak has resulted in almost 2,000 active cases across the state.

South Australia’s transition committee then decided to delay the easing of restrictions for NSW and the ACT after Premier Marshall said the “super-spreader event” at the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s west left too much uncertainty around a potential second outbreak.

The updated health advice in relation to the Picton Hotel came at the same time that ACT Health announced there were no new COVID-19 cases for the fourth consecutive day. The total number of active cases in the ACT remains at five, all of which are linked to the outbreak in Melbourne.

Almost 37,500 negative tests have been returned in the ACT as of Tuesday (14 July). Photo: ACT Health.

Testing rates in the ACT also remain high after new centres were opened over the weekend and early this week to cope with the increased demand. Almost 37,500 negative tests have now been recorded in the ACT as of midday today (14 July).

Canberrans who have been in Victoria within the past 14 days must also notify ACT Health before returning to the ACT. Around 880 exemption requests have been applied for by people arriving from Victoria, all but 80 of which have been processed.

Around 440 people remain in quarantine in the ACT.

To notify ACT Health of your intention to return, to apply for an exemption or to find out more about our border restrictions, you can visit covid19.act.gov.au, email covid.exemptions@act.gov.au or phone the COVID-19 Helpline on 02 6207 7244.

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