ACT expands cross-border travel with NSW | Canberra Times

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More NSW residents will be able to travel to the ACT without a travel exemption from Friday, when Canberra comes out of quarantine. Cross-border areas will be expanded to areas such as Goulburn, Cooma, and Gundagai so residents can enter the ACT to visit family, work or basic shopping. While ACT residents are still not able to enter NSW unless for important reasons, Prime Minister Andrew Barr said travel to Sydney and the NSW south coast may be possible by November. Travel restrictions for Canberrans heading to NSW are expected to only apply to high-risk local government areas at this point. The Prime Minister also confirmed that Canberra’s lockdown will end on October 15, but warned that infection levels will rise as movement in the community increases. “The number of cases is expected to increase as restrictions are eased, but being fully vaccinated gives you protection,” he said. Mr. Barr also announced minor changes to the restrictions from Friday; This will allow non-essential retailers to be in-store with up to two people in the same household for appointments such as test drives or trying on clothes. The ACT is also on track to ensure that 99 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated and is expected to reach the milestone by the end of November. Currently, 98 percent of those over the age of 12 have received their first dose and 72 percent are fully vaccinated. The national capital comes in as it registered 28 new cases of COVID in the most recent reporting period. Of the new cases, 22 are associated with known infections, and 14 of these are domestic contact. Nine cases were in quarantine for their entire contagious period, and 16 were assessed to pose a risk to others in the community. The number of people with the virus in hospitals increased to 19, 8 of them in intensive care and 6 of them connected to a ventilator. ACT health officials said the number of COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak had risen to 1262, of which 806 had recovered. Dr Kerryn Coleman, the district’s chief medical officer, said 72 percent of the total number of cases in the recent Canberra outbreak were unvaccinated, 17 percent were vaccinated for just one dose and 11 percent were fully vaccinated. Coleman said it accounts for eight percent of breakthrough cases where a patient develops COVID two weeks after being fully vaccinated. He said the area is in a good position to get out of the lockdown on Friday. Australian Associated Press

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