Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

ACT has registered 35 new COVID-19 cases as the territory stems from a nine-week lockout.

There has been another death in the nursing home in Calvary Haydon – a woman in her 70s who is the seventh person to die in that cluster.

This brings the total number of deaths during ACT’s current Delta outbreak to eight.

There are 16 people in the hospital with the virus, eight of them on intensive care.

ACT vaccination rates remain strong β€” more than 99 percent of the eligible population in Canberra have now received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now the lockdown has been lifted, Chief Justice Andrew Barr said the government’s focus will change from the number of COVID-19 case numbers to the number of cases in the hospital.

“A potential concern for us would be if fully vaccinated people were in hospital or intensive care, but the evidence so far is that the vaccines have worked to reduce the proportion of cases that require hospitalization or intensive care,” he said. .

Cross-border schemes change

As of today, the ACT government has opened travel to 27 locations within ACT’s border bubble with NSW for approved reasons such as household visits, access to childcare or school, to attend a wedding or a funeral and work.

The border bubble was expanded earlier this week to include more communities – among them Cooma, Goulburn, Braidwood, Bombala and Jugiong.

NSW residents in these border postcodes can also enter ACT without exception.

Shops along the main street in Yass, called Comur Street April 2012
ACT Health has reminded Canberrans that they must have a reason to enter one of the 27 approved postcodes.(Clarissa Thorpe: ABC News)

This morning, NSW cross-border Commissioner James McTavish reminded Canberrans that, according to the ACT Health exemption, people should only travel into the region for one of the 12 essential purposes.

“I would note that under the ACT rules, you should not really travel unless you are going for a prescribed purpose,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.

“And the prescribed purposes are stated on the ACT website.”

However, he said that after the prescribed purpose has been reached, “in NSW you can do whatever you want”.

β€œFor example, if you go across to catch up with some friends at their residence, you can go and do other activities, including going to the pub if you are fully vaccinated,” he said.

But Mr Barr urged the Canberrans to exercise caution.

“If you are an ACT resident, the reasons why you can cross the border include visiting another household, school, work, etc.,” he said.

“But what we can do is introduce some guidelines to people around what the reasons for crossing the border would be.”

Barr stressed that crossing borders for the sole purpose of going to the pub was not an approved reason to travel.

“Going to the pub is not a major reason … if you want to go to the pub, you can go to the pub in Canberra,” Mr Barr said.

“Most of this [border travel] is about trust. But I do not want people to think that there will be no enforcement, that there is no chance of them being caught – because there is. “

Other regional travel arrangements

While NSW rules allow Canberrans to travel throughout regional NSW without exception, ACT residents leaving the border bubble region will still have to apply for an exemption before returning home and quarantined for 14 days.

Barr stated that this would not change yet.

Travel from ACT to Greater Sydney will also be allowed no earlier than November 1st.

“About when Canberrans can travel to Sydney – not before the first of November is the answer to that question, as it concerns regional NSW in addition to the 27 postcodes currently within the Canberran region that are exempt,” Barr said.

“It will not be changed today.

“What NSW has announced today is that they will drop the Greater Sydney bubble or protection from the first of November.

“So we want to adapt to NSW – the exact nature of the changes we want to work through, but that’s the direction we’re heading.”

International travel changes in New South Wales

Check in at Canberra Airport.
While NSW opens for international arrivals from November, do not expect to fly internationally from Canberra Airport in the near future.(ABC News)

This morning, the NSW government announced that it would remove the cap on international travel for those who have been fully vaccinated from 1 November.

From that date, fully vaccinated people entering Australia from abroad will not be subject to hotel quarantine requirements – but unvaccinated people will still be quarantined for 14 days.

People landing in Sydney from abroad must show proof that they have received a TGA-approved vaccine and must return a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their aircraft.

Barr said it was unlikely that Canberra airport would receive international arrivals in the near future.

“It’s not a particularly relevant issue in ACT because we have no expectation of direct international flights to Canberra in the next few weeks or months,” he said.

“The really excellent problem that we have to solve with NSW is what are transit events for people once they have landed in Sydney.”

Barr said he expects transit arrangements could be in place from November 1, when major Sydney restrictions change.

“That’s the likely date. It will not be before that,” he said.

More on the way.


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