Canberra Weekly’s 2021 in Review: December

After a brief moment of face mask freedom, we saw the return of indoor mask restrictions in December 2021, and Omicron found its way through the ACT border with our first confirmed case. A 29-year-old man was tragically murdered in Civic, NCA approved Lake Burley Griffin as a landing site for seaplanes despite opposition from the local community, and in happier news – a new Asian BBQ restaurant opened in the city.

ONECT to reintroduce mandatory face masks indoors

ACT mask wearing indoor kerryn coleman
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerryn Coleman said the restrictions are being reintroduced because “about half” of ACT’s active cases have been confirmed as the Omicron variant. File: AAP / Lukas Coch.

Reintroducing public health measures will require people in the ACT to wear a face mask indoors from 6 p.m. 23.59 on 21 December, while visiting restrictions for geriatric care centers will be tightened. Face masks were once again mandatory in all indoor settings in ACT except residences. Residents in geriatric care were limited to five visitors a day with a maximum of five visitors at a time. From kl. 12.01 on the second day of Christmas, December 26, Canberra’s health facilities reintroduced a no-visit policy as Covid cases rose up to Christmas.

29-year-old man dies after fatal altercation at Civic

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contain the name of a deceased person.

ACT Policing confirmed the death of 29-year-old Jordan Powell and 19-year-old Kenan Dowden-Carlisle have been charged with murder following a Civic altercation on Saturday morning, December 4th. Judge James Stewart said the murder charge was related to a fight in a public area involving a knife. Despite first-aid efforts from the public, police and the ACT Ambulance Service, a 29-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sea fliers to Sydney and the south coast

Sydney Seaplanes (Alt Air) planes landed on Lake Burley Griffin last year.  Photo: Kerrie Brewer
Sydney Seaplanes (Alt Air) planes landed on Lake Burley Griffin last year. Photo: Kerrie Brewer

The National Capital Authority (NCA) approved the western basin at Lake Burley Griffin as a landing site for seaplanes from Sydney and the NSW south coast despite opposition from the local community. Sydney Seaplanes, the largest seaplane operator in Australia, intends to fly between the lake and Rose Bay, Sydney (10am and 4pm), and between Canberra Airport and Sydney (morning and evening). South Coast Seaplanes would offer scenic lake trips and fly between Canberra and the NSW South Coast twice a week. The NCA determined that tourist benefits would outweigh any potential impacts on the seaplanes, such as noise pollution and disruption to existing seafarers’ activities.

First confirmed case of Omicron in ACT, exposure sites listed

The ACT registered its first confirmed case of the Omicron coronavirus variant on Wednesday, December 1, leading to a further tightening of quarantine requirements. The fully vaccinated person returned a positive test result with genomic testing that subsequently confirmed the variant. ACT Health conducted additional contact tracing and identified several exposure sites on November 29 and 30, including an indoor pool and a graduation party. Random contacts who visited these sites had to be quarantined immediately and remain isolated until they received a negative test result. ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith announced that all close contacts in a confirmed Omicron case will be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

WILMA is hbest new asian BBQ in town

four Asian BBQ dishes at WILMA restaurant in Canberra city
Asian BBQ fans will find them like roast duck, char siu pork and a chili beef rib finished over the coals and then glazed at WILMA, open today at 1 Genge Street in Canberra City. Photo: Pew Pew Studio.

WILMA opened its doors on Friday, December 3, in the heart of the city, brought to life by the founder and head chef of the late and great Biota Dining – James Viles. He brings his latest Asian-Australian menu to Canberrans through Chef Brendan Hill’s skills. Viles will do much more than yakitori on this creation. The grill department will see them as roast duck, char siu pork and a chili beef rib finished over the coals and then glazed. He plans to buy local native timber to work with in the smoker – red chewing gum and stained chewing gum – to add an Australian element to popular Asian flavors.

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