ACT flags return of interstate travel as it records 13 new local COVID-19 cases

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr expects interstate travel to be up and running with NSW and Victoria in time for Christmas.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr speaks to the media during a COVID-19 update in Canberra, Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr speaks to the media during a COVID-19 update in Canberra, Tuesday, September 28, 2021. Source: AAP

Travel is expected to resume between Canberra, NSW and Victoria before Christmas, but the ACT government isn't banking on other jurisdictions opening their borders.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr expects there to be a lot more movement between the ACT, NSW and hopefully Victoria after 1 December.

"It'll be a lot less complicated then. But between now and then, there's going to be this weird set of rules," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"In time, I am optimistic that the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria will have common travel arrangements."

Mr Barr is working with the two states to nut out future travel arrangements.

He expects the situation to be much clearer and more free once NSW grants the same freedoms to vaccinated and unvaccinated people from December.

"The three jurisdictions are on slightly different pathways out of lockdown, reflecting the different circumstances in each jurisdiction," the chief minister said.

He said ACT residents were likely to be locked out of other jurisdictions for "a while longer".

The ACT recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday.

A source could be found for 11 infections.

Just one was in quarantine the whole time and at least seven were in the community for some of their infectious period.

The ACT has 243 active cases, eight of which are in hospital. Three of these people are in intensive care requiring ventilation.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith is confident high vaccination rates will mean the health system copes as the territory relaxes restrictions.

Canberra remains in lockdown until 11.59pm on 14 October, but restrictions will ease slightly this Friday.

From mid-October, the ACT expects to have fully vaccinated 80 per cent of its population aged 12 and older.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen with up to 25 people or one person per four square metres.

Limited numbers will be allowed back into places of worship and haircuts will be allowed, with a maximum of five customers.

Outdoor gatherings will be capped at 25 people.

From 29 October, restrictions are slated to ease further.

The surrounding region is expected to have achieved an 80 per cent vaccination rate by then, with the national average close behind.

Published 28 September 2021 at 1:39pm, updated 28 September 2021 at 2:16pm
Source: AAP - SBS