ACT allows travel to additional NSW areas

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Fully vaccinated ACT residents can visit additional areas of NSW after coronavirus quarantine requirements were relaxed.

© Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS The ACT is relaxing rules on visiting parts of NSW, as Canberrans come out of a nine week lockdown.

The ACT on Saturday reported another 20 locally acquired cases, the lowest daily amount in 18 days. 

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced residents with both jabs could visit a further 26 NSW postcode areas without having to quarantine when they return.

The areas include Batemans Bay, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands, and towns in the Snowy Mountains.

“As we have seen throughout this pandemic, travel restrictions are temporary,” Chief Minister Barr said.

“As more people get fully vaccinated in regional NSW and the ACT, Canberrans can expect that travel restrictions will be relaxed further.

“This is a balancing act. Canberrans didn’t go through nine weeks of lockdown only to see a spike in cases.”

The ACT has 495 active cases, while 15 patients are in hospital, 10 of them in intensive care.

Health officials say almost 2400 virus tests were conducted in the 24 hours to Friday evening.

While it’s likely travel to all of NSW will be possible by November 1, Chief Minister Barr has previously flagged the ACT could still impose restrictions on travelling to localised hotspots. 

“The ACT and NSW are just a few weeks away from very high levels of full vaccination,” Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said.

“But we’re not quite there yet, and our public health officials remain concerned about increasing case numbers in some parts of NSW.”

The ACT marked its first full day out of lockdown on Friday, after more than two months of residents being subject to stay at home orders.

Retail will have to wait for another two weeks to be able to welcome customers in store, with only click and collect options or booked visits available.

A further easing of restrictions will be made on October 29, when the ACT is expected to hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated.

It will be shortly after that, on November 1, that free travel between the ACT and NSW is expected to take place.

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