ACT expands cross-border travel with NSW

·2-min read

More NSW residents will be able to travel into the ACT without a travel exemption from Friday, when Canberra comes out of lockdown.

Cross-border areas will be expanded to regions including Goulburn, Cooma and as far as Gundagai for residents to be able to enter the ACT to visit family, for work or essential shopping.

While ACT residents are still not able to enter NSW unless for essential reasons, Chief Minister Andrew Barr says travel to Sydney and the NSW south coast is likely to be possible by November.

Travel restrictions for Canberrans going into NSW are expected to be in place by that point for only high-risk local government areas.

The chief minister also confirmed Canberra's lockdown would end on October 15, but warned that infection levels would rise as movement in the community increased.

"Case numbers are expected to increase as restrictions are eased, but being fully vaccinated provides you with protection," he said.

Mr Barr also announced minor changes to restrictions from Friday, which will allow for non-essential retail to have up to two people from the same household in the store for booked appointments, such as for test-driving cars or trying on clothes.

The ACT is also on track to have 99 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated, and is expected to reach the milestone by the end of November.

Currently, 98 per cent of over-12s have had a first dose and 72 per cent are fully vaccinated.

It comes as the national capital recorded 28 new cases of COVID in the most recent reporting period.

Of the new cases, 22 have been linked to known infections, with 14 of those being household contacts.

Nine cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period, with 16 also being assessed as presenting a risk to others in the community.

The number of people in hospital with the virus has increased to 19, which includes eight in intensive care, six of them on ventilators.

ACT health authorities have said the number of COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak has risen to 1262, with 806 of those having recovered.

The territory's chief health officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, said of the total number of cases in the recent Canberra outbreak, 72 per cent were unvaccinated, 17 per cent had just one dose and 11 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Breakthrough cases, where a patient developed COVID more than two weeks after becoming fully vaccinated, made up eight per cent of cases

Dr Coleman said there had also been a number of cases linked to people sharing vaping devices.

She said the territory was in a good position to come out of lockdown on Friday.

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