ACT lockdown extended until September 17

·2-min read

Canberra's lockdown has been extended for another fortnight amid continuing concern over mystery coronavirus cases and the spiralling outbreak in NSW.

Lockdown won't lift before midnight on September 17 as the ACT records another 13 infections.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has repeatedly warned restrictions will remain through a difficult spring until at least 80 per cent of the eligible population is vaccinated.

"We are bending the curve down and are getting on top of the outbreak," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"However, it is a slow process and it will take more time."

Federal disaster payments of up to $750 a week, as well as jointly funded business support measures, have been extended.

The ACT has also tweaked restrictions to give people slightly more freedom starting from when the lockdown had been due to expire on Thursday.

Changes include allowing households of any size, or up to five people from different households, to gather outdoors for up to two hours.

Outdoor exercise limits will double from one to two hours, while "very small" funerals and weddings can also take place.

Mr Barr doesn't believe returning to zero coronavirus cases is out of reach, but concedes it's "very challenging".

The current reproductive rate of the virus in the ACT is under one. This means each infected person is passing the virus on to less than one other person.

The ACT government is wary of the continued spread of COVID-19 across NSW, which has recorded another 1164 new local cases and three more deaths.

Canberra's outbreak, stemming from Sydney's explosion in infections, has grown to 242 active cases.

Seven of Tuesday's infections are linked to existing cases or clusters and four had been in quarantine the whole time while infectious.

The number of people in hospital with the virus has grown to 13, with three remaining in intensive care.

Of ACT residents aged 16 and older, 42 per cent are fully vaccinated and 66 per cent have received one dose.

The chief minister expects to achieve 80 and 90 per cent vaccination coverage when the rest of Australia hits 70 and 80 per cent thresholds, respectively.

Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman was confident the ACT could lower its case numbers and keep them low, but health officials needed more time to find sources of transmission.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting