18 February 2022

Public health measures to ease across the ACT from tonight

Canberra businesses will benefit from an easing of public health social measures (PHSM) in the Territory.

From 6:00pm tonight (Friday 18 February):

  • All density limits that currently apply to restricted businesses and activities will be removed, and there will no longer be a requirement for businesses to display signage for capacity limits.
  • The requirement for patrons to be seated while eating and drinking in hospitality and licensed venues will be removed, and dancing will be permitted.
  • Ticketing and preregistration requirements for events will be removed.
  • Employees can return to the workplace where it suits them and their employer.

On Monday 21 February:

  • Elective surgery will resume at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, with a gradual return to full capacity in following days. (Non-essential elective surgery ceased at Calvary Public Hospital (but not at Canberra Hospital) on January 7 due to the impact of the Omicron wave.)

From 11.59pm Monday 21 February:

  • The mandatory quarantine period for unvaccinated international travellers will be reduced to seven days.  Exemptions for unvaccinated travellers to enter the ACT to complete their quarantine period will continue to be required.
  • The requirement for international travellers to complete an online declaration form will be removed.
  • Testing requirements and restrictions on entering high-risk settings for international travellers will remain.

From 11.59pm Friday 25 February:

  • There will be changes to the current requirements to wear a face mask in indoor spaces, with further details to be announced next week. 
  • Exemption requirements for all events will also be removed. However, events of more than 5,000 people will be asked to submit their COVID Safety Plans to ACT Health for review.

Check In CBR will still be required at businesses where it is currently mandated, and all businesses are still required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

“The past few years have been a tumultuous time in the Territory, and we acknowledge that the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt differently across the city,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

“We thank ACT businesses who have been really supportive of the ACT Government’s ongoing public health response.”

“Our case numbers have steadied, and we are cautiously optimistic about the autumn period. While we recognise the situation could change if a new variant of concern emerges or there is a surge in cases, this step is designed to minimise the disruption of COVID-19 on our local businesses when it is safe to do so.

“The winter months will present increased risks, and the ACT Government will join national efforts to prepare for a period where our health system may come under significant strain."

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said Canberrans can continue to support the public health response by recognising COVID Smart behaviours.

“Through the Omicron wave, we’ve seen the protective effect of our world-leading vaccination rate and I’m confident Canberrans understand the simple actions and behaviours we can all take to protect ourselves and others,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Being COVID Smart also means recognising that some in our community are particularly vulnerable to poor outcomes from COVID-19 and it’s important to be considerate of those for whom easing of restrictions may create some anxiety.

Further information is available on the ACT COVID-19 website at www.covid19.act.gov.au.