Physical distancing restrictions will be eased further in Canberra from Saturday May 30, clearing the way for gatherings of up to 20 people and allowing gyms to reopen, assuming the current efforts to supress coronavirus continue to work.
- ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced a roadmap towards a “COVID-safe” Canberra
- Stage two easing would allow up to 20 people to gather and the reopening of higher-risk businesses
- Stage three would allow gatherings of up to 100 people, reopening of accommodation areas, and possibly pubs and clubs
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has laid out the timeline for the ACT to ease COVID-19 restrictions over the next four weeks.
The plan is to move to stage two restrictions on May 30, then stage-three “COVID-safe” restrictions by June 19, as long as infections stay under control.
“If we continue on our current path of suppressing new COVID-19 infections over the next 10 days, then we will move to stage two on Saturday, May 30,” Mr Barr said.
Agreed under the National Cabinet, the second stage of restrictions would allow up to 20 people to gather and the reopening of higher-risk businesses, such as gyms, cinemas, beauticians and tattoo studios.
If the ACT eased restrictions again on June 19, gatherings of up to 100 people would be allowed, all accommodation areas would be reopened and consideration would be given for pubs and clubs to resume business.
Strip clubs and brothels would remain closed.
Mr Barr said the ACT Government would be assessing all available evidence and data every three weeks to determine whether those dates need to change.
“The ACT will continue to base our public health decisions on public health advice,” Mr Barr said.
“We will also engage with industry stakeholders on practical implementation measures as we step through each stage of easing restrictions.”
Coronavirus committee calls for release of plan
The dates announced by Mr Barr came after the COVID-19 pandemic response committee yesterday recommended a step-by-step process for reopening be published by the Government.
The tri-partisan committee was established to provide advice to the Government as it responded to the pandemic.
It said the ACT Government should release a model to the public similar to that prepared by the Northern Territory Government.
Committee chair Alistair Coe said the community had expressed there was a lack of clarity on a roadmap out.
“Some jurisdictions have been very explicit about what their roadmap looks like, including certain steps and what is permissible at each of those junctures,” Mr Coe said.
Mr Coe said the three-step Commonwealth guide was useful, but the ACT needed to spell out its own targeted response that suited the local economy.
The committee also made recommendations for the Government to: ensure care providers had access to personal protective equipment; release additional funding to help service providers shift online; and establish clear rules for the safe reopening of cafes, restaurants and other venues.