People entering the ACT from any part of NSW including greater Sydney won’t have to quarantine from November 1 but when travel from Victoria will return remains uncertain.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr foreshadowed the November changes on Tuesday as the territory passed its 80% double-dose vaccination rate.
Barr also announced a relaxation of restrictions on businesses from Friday, with retail and food courts to reopen under density limits, and capacity limits on hospitality and major events to increase. Face masks will only be required indoors.
The removal of home quarantine for people returning to the territory from all of NSW comes as the NSW government will allow travel from greater Sydney into regional areas from November 1, too.
The ACT from November 1 will assess the public health risk in local government areas, as it was doing earlier in the pandemic.
“This will allow the chief health officer to declare high-risk local government areas as covid-affected areas with relevant stay-at-home or quarantine requirements should a hot spot emerge,” Barr said.
ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said travel from Victoria into the ACT could take more time.
“The next two weeks are going to be important to see if Victoria has peaked and its case numbers have come down,” Coleman said.
“I don’t think the covid-affected declaration will be removed before November 1.
“But we are also working very closely with NSW, while recognising a block approach for how we deal with Victoria is important as well.”
The first-dose vaccination rate in the ACT is greater than 99% and Barr said it was important that young people were given the opportunity to become fully vaccinated.
“Ensuring these Canberrans are fully vaccinated before moving to baseline restrictions will be critical to the successful reopening of our economy and keeping our economy open,” he said.
“It’s not just about one day or one week, it’s about the longer term as well.”
Victoria recorded 1841 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday morning and 12 deaths while NSW recorded 283 new cases and seven deaths.
The NSW government announced a package for the tourism industry on Wednesday morning, including an aviation attraction fund to attract airlines from overseas.