ACT to be classified as a COVID hotspot for another fortnight

By Melissa Coade

Thursday September 2, 2021

Paul Kelly. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Australia’s chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly, has announced that he will be extending the ACT’s classification as a COVID hotspot to midnight on 17 September.

On Wednesday Kelly said that with infectious COVID cases still posing an exposure risk to the ACT community, he would review the hotspot status again mid month. 

“There are also some earlier cases that have been unable to be linked, raising concerns for undetected chains of transmission in the community,” Kelly said in a statement. 

On Thursday the ACT recorded 12 new cases of locally acquired virus, eight of whom had been infectious while in the community.

The CMO urged members of the community to continue following the territory government’s public health directions, even though restrictions were being eased for activities deemed to be ‘lower risk’ for transmission. 

From 5pm Thursday, up to five people (or a household of any size) can exercise outdoors for up to two hours, including ‘non-organised recreation’. Dog parks, playgrounds and fitness stations will also reopen however users of these venues must continue to maintain their social distance of at least 1.5 metres.

Other outdoor maintenance services will also recommence in the ACT, such as gardening and dog grooming businesses where physical distancing can be maintained. And a staged reopening of the construction industry subject to COVIDsafe requirements will begin from Friday 3 September.

Weddings are now allowed 10 attendees (excluding the celebrant) including witnesses and the couple getting married. 

Funerals in the ACT will be permitted with a limit of 20 guests (excluding others who are required to conduct the funeral). 

Stay-at-home orders however remain in place, with six essential reasons that people are allowed to go outside: to buy groceries or medicine, access healthcare, to get a COVID-19 test or vaccination, and to exercise outdoors. Essential workers are also included in the reasons ACT residents are permitted to leave their homes. 

The public health orders also require people aged 12 and over to wear a mask at all times when outside of their home. Some exemptions apply.

Remote learning will continue for all ACT students for the remainder of Term 3, with all public schools and early education providers remaining open for essential workers and vulnerable children.


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