ACT records 21 new coronavirus cases

·2-min read

Canberra has recorded another 21 coronavirus cases as the ACT tweaks lockdown restrictions to stop residents flocking to big hardware stores.

A decision on whether to lift the territory's lockdown from September 2 will be made mid-next week.

Canberra has 209 active COVID-19 cases. Of those, 11 including a child under the age of 12 are in hospital.

The majority of these patients are unvaccinated, including a woman in her 40s in intensive care, or have had just one dose.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has confirmed changed restrictions for businesses from Saturday.

Small and non-essential retailers can have up to two people on site for the purpose of contactless delivery, and click and collect orders.

Large essential retailers, such as shops selling hardware and building supplies, will be restricted to delivery or click and collect for all but trade customers.

The change follows concern over the number of people heading to Bunnings, which racked up 19,000 check-ins in a single day.

Shops such as supermarkets will remain open for customers.

Construction work is also set to restart gradually in a week's time, with strictly enforced social distancing and density limits

Mr Barr has sought to temper expectations about what life will look like even if lockdown ends next Thursday as Canberra seeks to shield itself from NSW.

"The decisions that we make about future public health restrictions need to be careful and they need to be gradual, small steps forward in the current climate before we reach 80 per cent effective community vaccination," he told reporters on Friday.

The ACT has a full vaccination rate of nearly 39 per cent.

The proportion of residents aged 12 or older with at least one vaccine dose has passed 60 per cent.

Of those aged in their 30s, 90 per cent have either received their first jab or made a booking for one.

Among the ACT's 21 new infections, 14 are household contacts of existing cases and one can be linked to a known cluster.

Health authorities are still looking into how the other six cases contracted the virus.

Fourteen of the new cases were quarantining throughout their infectious period.

Six were in the community and the movements of another case remains unclear.

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