27 September 2021

ACT lockdown to end from 15 October

The ACT Government has today updated our Pathway Forward as we continue to work towards high vaccination coverage in the ACT.

During October, the ACT will hit 80% of our population over the age of 12 fully vaccinated.

We will reach this milestone ahead of the national average, but this doesn’t mean we will stop vaccinating. 

The ACT will continue supporting our local vaccination rollout until everyone who wants to be vaccinated has the opportunity to do so.  

This very strong level of vaccination coverage will allow us to start taking gradual steps forward once we reach 80% vaccination coverage of the population over the age of 12.

These steps will see us transition from high, to medium, low and finally baseline public health measures.

Subject to the public health risk remaining relatively stable in the next two weeks, the ACT’s lockdown will end at 11:59pm on Thursday 14 October, triggering a transition to medium level public health measures.

From the 15 October, five people will be able to visit another household at any one time, and 25 people will be able to gather outdoors.

Licensed venues, cafes and restaurants will be able to operate seated service at a maximum capacity of 25 across venue or one person per four square metres (1 per 4 sqm) indoors. Alternatively, venues can chose to operate outdoors will a maximum of 50 patrons at 1 per 4 sqm.

Hairdressers, beauty & personal services can recommence services with a maximum of five customers at any one time.

All non-essential retail will continue operating under click & collect or click & deliver services, but the maximum staffing capacity inside a business premise will go from five to 10 people.

Gyms will be able to reopen with strict COVIDSafe requirements with a maximum of 25 people at 1 per 4 sqm.

The 25 people at 1 per 4 sqm rule will also apply to:

  • Weddings
  • Outdoor play centres
  • Places of worship
  • Outdoor auctions; and
  • Community centres and facilities.

Accommodation providers such as hotels and motels, campgrounds, caravan parks & campsites can reopen, as can swimming pools for organised lessons with a maximum of 25 swimmers.

Funerals will be able to occur with 50 attendees at 1 person per 4 square metres.

As the national vaccination average climbs towards 80% in late October, the ACT will continue to gradually reduce the level of public health safety measures.

From 29 October, subject to the public health risk at the time, a number of businesses and activities will be able to move towards more relaxed density and capacity limits.

Licenced venues, cafes and restaurants will be able to cater for 25 people across the venue before any density limits apply.

Those density limits will be 1 per 4 sqm indoors (up to 100 people) and 1 per 2 sqm outdoors (up to 150 people).

This will also apply to many of the businesses and activities that were able to recommence from 15 October.

Organised sport will be able to recommence under the same density and capacity limits, and swimming pools will reopen to the public.

Further public health measures from 29 October include:

  • 10 people will be able to visit a household at any one time, and 30 people will be able to meet outdoors;
  • Ticketed and seated events will be able to recommence with density and capacity limits depending on whether they are indoors or outdoors;
  • All retail stores in the ACT will be permitted to open with 1 per 4 sqm;
  • Cinemas, galleries and museums will be able to reopen; and
  • Dance classes, choirs and bands will also be able to commence in person, with a maximum of 20 people or 1 per 4 sqm.

As the ACT’s vaccination rate continues above 90% of the eligible population, further changes will be considered.

This includes eased venue density limits such as 1 per 2 sqm and increased household and outdoor gathering sizes.

The requirements for interstate and overseas travel will also be considered as we move through these phases of the ACT’s Pathway Forward.

The ability to travel interstate and overseas will be subject to the border decisions of State and Territory Governments and the Commonwealth respectively.

The ACT’s Pathway Forward has been informed by national and local modelling on the impact that COVID-19 will have on cases and hospitalisations.

We can expect as the nation relaxes public health measures, the ACT could be recording daily cases numbers in the hundreds – most likely in the first quarter of 2022.

The higher the level of community vaccination, the lower the number of cases, hospitalisations, people requiring intensive care and deaths as a result of a COVID-19 infection.

It will be a challenge, but the ACT’s Pathway Forward announced today will ensure that we make the gradual and safe steps towards a better Christmas and summer holiday here in the ACT.