Canberra enters snap lockdown after Covid case found

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Canberra will enter a snap seven-day lockdown on Thursday after a Covid case was found in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Canberrans will only be able to leave home for essential reasons from 5pm on Thursday, Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed just before noon.

Masks will be mandatory, general retail will shut and hospitality venues will only be able to operate takeaway services.

The lockdown follows the confirmation of Canberra's first recorded infection in more than a year.

The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes aerobatic team flies over Canberra. The city will enter a snap lockdown on Thursday.
Canberrans will only be able to leave home for essential reasons from 5pm on Thursday. Source: Getty Images

The case, a man in his 20s living in Gungahlin, was infectious in the community for an "extensive" amount of time and the source remains unknown.

Covid-19 has also been detected in wastewater plants "around the ACT".

"We do not currently know the source of the infection, but extensive investigation has been under way for many hours," Mr Barr said during a media conference.

"This is the most serious public health risk that we are faced in the territory this year.

"Really, since the beginning of the pandemic. It is why we are introducing a strict lockdown in response."

Both houses of federal parliament were already set to rise on Thursday evening.

Reasons to leave home

  • Essential work

  • Healthcare, including Covid vaccine

  • Hour of exercise a day

  • To buy groceries, essential supplies

  • To provide essential caregiving services

Mr Barr warned residents not to linger at the essential stores that will remain open.

“This is not an opportunity to go to Bunnings to browse," he said. "Get in get want you need and leave." 

Masks will be mandatory for all residents as soon as they leave their homes, Mr Barr said. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison removes his face mask during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Source: AAP
Both houses of federal parliament were already set to rise on Thursday evening. Source: AAP

The only people who are exempt are those who are undertaking rigorous physical activity during the one hour of allowed exercise or those who are unable to because of medical issues, he added.

If parents are able to keep their children at home, they must do so, officials said. Children of those who are essential workers will still be allowed to attend.

ACT Covid exposure sites

Anyone who attended any of the venues listed at the below times is considered a close contact and must quarantine for 14 days and get tested.

  • Fiction Bar in Canberra City on August 8 from 12am to 4:45am

  • Church of Pentecost in Woden on August 8 from 10:30am to 1pm

  • Freedom Furniture in Fyshwick on August 8 from 2pm to 2:20pm

  • JB Hifi in Fyshwick on August 8 from 2:15pm to 2:35pm

  • TK Maxx in Fyshwick on August 8 from 2:35pm to 2:50pm

  • Assembly Pub in Braddon on August 8 from 9pm to 9:30pm

  • Stockade Training Centre in Fyshwick on August 9 from 7:30am to 1pm

  • Stockade Training Centre in Fyshwick on August 10 from 9am to 11am

  • Urban Pantry in Manuka on August 10from 10:30am to 1pm

  • Harvey Norman in Fyshwick on August 10 from 11am to 12pm

  • North Canberra Business Centre in Mitchell on August 11 from 11:10am to 11:30am

  • Companion House in Cook on August 11 from 11:30am to 11:45am

  • Capital Chemist in Kingston on August 11 from 12pm to 12:15pm

  • Coles in Mauka on August 11 from 12:15pm to 12:40pm

Additionally, anyone who attended the Canberra Outlet Centre — outside of the individual outlets listed above — between 2pm and 3.30pm on Sunday must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if these develop.

ACT lockdown comes as Delta outbreak expands

Canberra's lockdown comes after cases spread into northwest NSW, sending a host of regional communities into lockdown.

Stay-at-home orders were on Wednesday announced for the Dubbo, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett and Warren local government areas.

On Thursday, NSW reported 345 new local cases of Covid-19. At least 91 of those people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.

With AAP

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