Thursday, April 18, 2024

ACT ends COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

The ACT has announced an end to its Public Health Emergency Declaration after more than two years of restrictions.

The changes include masks no longer being required on public and shared transport, household contacts not being required to report their status to ACT Health, COVID safety plans no longer being required for businesses and events, and the removal of vaccine mandates for disability and aged-care workers.

Chief Minister, Andrew Barr said the ACT community had responded incredibly well in its fight against COVID-19 since the public health emergency was declared in March 2020.

“This is the next stage in our COVID-19 response. There will need to be ongoing support for Canberrans who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, and a mechanism that allows the Government to swiftly implement the public health measures that have proven to be highly successful in suppressing the virus in the Territory,” Chief Minister Barr said.

Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new COVID-19 settings were part of a staged plan to managing COVID-19, in a similar way to other infectious diseases like influenza.

“Canberrans should be reassured that if there is any significant development in relation to COVID-19, we will continue to take appropriate actions to keep our community safe, just as we have throughout the pandemic,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

The updated plan will also see decreased hours for COVID testing centres in Canberra.

“I would encourage anyone needing a test to check the ACT COVID-19 website to confirm COVID-19 testing locations, opening hours and testing advice before they head to a testing centre,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

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