21 December 2020

Christmas on the coast saved after Shoalhaven removed from ACT blacklist

| Dominic Giannini
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Dr Kerryn Coleman

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman signed a new public health direction last night. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Canberrans can still travel to the South Coast for Christmas without needing to quarantine when returning home after the Shoalhaven was removed from a list of NSW government areas subject to the new COVID-19 restrictions.

From midnight last night, people who have visited the Greater Sydney area, including the NSW Central Coast and Illawarra, will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Shoalhaven was originally included on the list before being removed this morning (21 December), Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman confirmed. The area was included because it was designated as part of the areas subject to increased restrictions from NSW Health yesterday before being revised.

The new measures are likely to remain in place over Christmas and into the new year, Dr Coleman said.

Returning residents in quarantine are being strongly encouraged to get tested on the first or second day of quarantine and before they exit.

People who returned to Canberra from the Greater Sydney region prior to midnight last night – and have not visited a designated hotspot or the Northern Beaches – do not need to get tested unless they develop symptoms.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, a dry cough and tiredness. Less common symptoms include aches and pains, a sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash or discolouration of fingers or toes.

The quarantine period is from the time a person leaves the Greater Sydney region.

ACT Policing will be checking details at Canberra Airport and at borders to ensure people entering the ACT are not trying to defy restrictions.

Penalties and fines will apply to people who disobey the rules.

Returning ACT residents will be able to quarantine at home but the household will also be required to quarantine as well if you cannot adequately isolate yourself from other members of the household.

ACT Health will work with returning Canberrans who are unable to quarantine at home safely.

Anyone who has visited the Northern Beaches since 11 December must still quarantine for 14 days from the last date they were there and be tested for COVID-19 even if they do not have symptoms, and must remain in quarantine for the entire 14 days even if they return a negative result.

With further contact tracing in NSW, the list of venues attended by COVID-19 cases has expanded in the past few days. For the full, updated list of venues of concern, visit Health NSW.

For information on how to isolate, including financial support and how to access food or medication, visit ACT Health.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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Peter Robertson2:08 pm 21 Dec 20

It would have been nice to have known this before making a mad dash to Ulladulla and back last night to beat the deadline. It has disrupted our family arrangements enormously, including medical appointments that were arranged in Canberra this week but have now been cancelled. It was only by chance that we learnt of the proposed restriction and no contact information to confirm its accuracy. Pretty bad form really.

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