The ACT is set to enter its sixth week of lockdown as the Territorial Government steps back from a COVID-zero strategy.
While some nearby local government areas in NSW will spend their first day outside of the lockout on Friday, Canberra is set to spend an additional four weeks under stay-at-home restrictions.
The local government areas of Bega Valley and Snowy Mountain were among the 12 regions in NSW that had their lockdowns lifted after zero new COVID-19 cases were registered there.
However, NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro urged residents in these areas to be vigilant.
ACT’s lockdown was originally scheduled to end on Friday, but Prime Minister Andrew Barr announced an extension of four weeks earlier in the week.
Although he is confident that the ACT will be able to contain the virus, he would not predict that there would be zero cases when the lockdown is expected to end on October 15th.
“We have introduced policy options that keep our number of cases very low. But there are still new cases and new cases contagious in society,” Barr said Thursday.
ACT is days away from reaching the vaccine milestone of having 80 percent of residents over the age of 16 who have received their first dose.
The latest federal vaccine statistics show that nearly 78 percent of eligible Canberrans have received a dose, while nearly 54 percent are fully immunized, the highest level outside any jurisdiction.
More than 97 percent of nursing home-aged nursing home staff in ACT have received at least one vaccine dose.
Friday is the day for the deadline for elderly carers to have received their first vaccine.
It comes after the ACT registered 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 of which were linked.
However, the number of patients in the hospital has increased to nine, one of whom is in intensive care on a ventilator.
Australian Associated Press