3 June 2021

Victoria, NSW stay at home orders extended, second Pfizer hub flagged

| Dominic Giannini
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Rachel Stephen-Smith getting her COVID-19 vaccine

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith received her COVID-19 jab as she announced the expansion of the vaccine’s rollout in the ACT. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The 540 people currently subject to stay at home orders in the ACT have had their orders extended for another seven days under a new ACT Health direction issued today.

People who arrived from Victoria since the first order was announced last week will need to remain at home until at least 11:59 pm on Thursday, 10 June.

People who were subject to the order because they travelled from regional Victoria have also had their orders extended, despite the Victorian Government removing stay at home orders for regional Victoria. This is because Victoria has implemented tight gathering restrictions and other public health measures that the ACT does not have in place, ACT Health said.

ACT residents in Victoria will still be able to return to the Territory but will need to fill in an online declaration form at least 24 hours before arriving.

Everyone aged 12 years and over must wear a mask if leaving their premises for any essential purposes, which include an hour of exercise daily, grocery shopping and medical appointments. Non-residents will not be able to enter the ACT without an exemption.

Anyone who has visited an exposure site in NSW must also get tested and isolate immediately. People who visited COVID-19 Areas of Concern and are considered casual contacts can leave isolation once they receive a negative result.

Those who have been to a close contact exposure location must isolate for 14 days regardless of their test result.

NSW has reported exposure locations in Jervis Bay, Vincentia, Huskisson, Goulburn and Gundagai, between 19 and 24 May.

In the ACT, there are 33 people in quarantine from NSW sites and seven from Victoria exposure sites as of Thursday (3 June).

The extension of the stay at home order was announced on the same day the ACT expanded its vaccination eligibility to people between the age of 40 to 49.

People in this age group can now book to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the Garran clinic.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the Victorian outbreak did not act as a catalyst for the expansion of the vaccine’s rollout, with most states and territories preparing to extend their eligibility criteria at around this time.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT had the capacity to accommodate the more than 60,000 Canberrans who have just become eligible and said a second Pfizer facility would be opened in the coming weeks.

She said the newly eligible cohort would not detract from the ACT’s capacity to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in the community.

READ ALSO No vaccination blitz for Canberra aged-care staff despite Victorian COVID-19 outbreak

“We have been working through a staged process and with the Commonwealth to ensure that those people who are most vulnerable in our community continue to be our priority.

“We have got room for those priority groups and the centre has been open for those priority groups for quite some weeks now. But we have appointments available at Garran, so we thought it was an important and opportune time to open up to that 40 to 49 age group.”

The ACT currently receives around 6000 to 7000 doses of Pfizer from the Commonwealth each week, which are on top of its current stock of 14,000 to 16,000 doses, depending on how many doses can be extracted from each vial.

The Commonwealth Government plans to increase the number of doses the ACT receives each week, but exact figures have not yet been released. The Garran centre can currently administer around 7000 jabs a week.

For more information about COVID-19 and the vaccine’s rollout in the ACT, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

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