29 January 2021

ACT ends travel ban as Sydney records 12th day with no local COVID-19 transmissions

| Dominic Giannini
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has removed travel restrictions on Sydney’s Cumberland LGA. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The final restrictions on travelling to Sydney or coming to Canberra from the Habour City will end at 3:00 pm today after NSW recorded its 12th consecutive day with no local transmission of COVID-19 yesterday (28 January).

The Cumberland local government area was the only location in Sydney that Canberrans could not visit without needing to quarantine upon returning to the ACT. Non-residents who had been to the LGA could not legally enter the Territory.

Nine LGAs in Sydney were taken off the blacklist last week, but Cumberland remained due to an exposure site in the middle of January.

ACT Health said it would monitor the area for a full incubation period of 14 days, which came to an end today.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman acknowledged the ACT community and public health staff for their hard work during this busy and uncertain period over the past six weeks.

“I would like to thank Canberrans for their efforts in keeping our community safe during this time,” Dr Coleman said.

“We know that these restrictions have been challenging, with many travel plans changed or cancelled, and many people have been required to quarantine at different periods of time.

“At our peak we had close to 8,000 people in quarantine here in the ACT, resulting in a significant workload for public health staff. Since 18 December 2020 ACT Health has also processed over 4,200 exemption applications for essential travel and other critical needs.

“While the situation across Australia is encouraging, we must all continue to follow the public health advice to keep the ACT community safe from COVID-19,” Dr Coleman said.

The easing of ACT restrictions comes just days after a tour group from Cumberland sparked concerns after visiting Parliament House on Australia Day.

ACT Policing is investigating the incident.

Canberrans have been reminded to remain vigilant despite the ACTs record. People with symptoms are being urged to get tested.

For information about free testing clinics across the ACT, please visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/testing.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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