27 May 2021

ACT issues stay-at-home orders for travellers from Victoria

| Dominic Giannini
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has announced new travel restrictions. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A new stay-at-home order will be in place across the ACT for anyone who enters the Territory from Victoria after midnight tonight (27 May) and the border will be closed to non-residents unless they receive an exemption to enter the ACT.

The stay at home order will last until at least 11:59 pm on 3 June.

Any returning residents leaving Victoria after this time will need to fill out an online declaration form at least 24 hours before travel and travel directly to the residence where they will spend the stay-at-home period.

People under stay-at-home orders in the ACT will only be able to leave their homes to conduct essential activities such as buying groceries, medical supplies or needs; to receive a vaccination; to exercise for one hour a day; or for essential animal welfare purposes, such as feeding livestock kept elsewhere.

Anyone who has arrived in the ACT from Greater Melbourne in the past 14 days needs to fill out an online declaration form.

More than 6,860 people have filled in the declaration form as of this afternoon (27 May) and one has been identified as a close contact and is in quarantine.

Forty people have been identified as casual contacts.

Returned travellers from Victoria are also being urged to check COVID-19 hotspots in Greater Melbourne.

Anyone who has attended a close contact exposure site needs to get tested for COVID-19 immediately, contact ACT Health on 5124 6209 and then quarantine for 14 days from the date they were last at the site even if they receive a negative result.

Anyone who has been to a casual exposure location needs to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.

The full list of sites is available at COVID-19 Areas of Concern.

The measure follows Victoria going into a seven-day lockdown from midnight tonight as authorities race to trace more than 10,000 primary and secondary contacts.

There are now 26 cases in the recent Greater Melbourne cluster. One person is in intensive care on a ventilator.

Further restrictions have also been put in place for Victorians entering NSW from 4:00 pm today (27 May).

Anyone who arrives from Victoria must comply with the seven-day stay-at-home order and will only be able to leave for essential shopping, medical care, caregiving, outdoor exercise, and essential work or education if this cannot be done from home.

Different requirements will be in place for border communities, NSW Health said.

NSW has kept its border open but urged people to reconsider travel, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying those leaving Victoria before tonight’s lockdown should not exploit her state’s goodwill.

Ms Berejiklian said travellers should not visit Greater Melbourne or Victoria unless it is absolutely necessary.

Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania have all closed their border to Victoria, or parts of the state, as well.

The lockdown has reinvigorated debate about the pace of Australia’s vaccination rollout after the Victorian Health Minister confirmed that the elderly person on a ventilator was not one of the 50 per cent of over 70-year-olds who’ve been vaccinated.

Almost 95,000 people have been vaccinated in the ACT as of today (27 May), which equates to roughly 5 per cent of the Territory’s population although this includes people from the region.

Almost 20,000 of these people have received two doses.

ACT Health has warned Canberrans to remain vigilant for COVID-19 and get tested even if they have mild symptoms.

The declaration form and exemption form are available on the COVID-19 website.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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