Australian Defence Force troops will help patrol the ACT border in coming days in an attempt to stop people illegally coming into Canberra from NSW.
The deployment comes after the ACT recorded one of its highest daily tallies of new COVID numbers, with 30 cases announced on Friday.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ADF would be used for the first time along the border after multiple reports of COVID-19 coming into Canberra from interstate.
With Saturday marking the first day of the school holidays, there will also be additional police patrols at major entry points to the ACT.
“It’s a timely reminder that you cannot travel anywhere for a holiday,” Mr Barr said on Friday.
“You cannot leave the ACT unless you have an essential reason.”
ACT Health said more than 80 per cent of Canberrans aged over 16 have received at least their first vaccine dose, making it the second jurisdiction after NSW to reach the milestone.
Health figures also showed more than 55 per cent of over-16s in the ACT are fully vaccinated, which is the highest of any state or territory.
Just over 52 per cent of ACT residents who are 12 and older had received two doses.
Friday’s total of 30 new cases was the second-highest number of COVID infections in a single day for the territory.
The ACT’s chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said while the number of new cases was high, it did not indicate an upward trend.
There are now eight COVID-19 cases in hospitals in Canberra, one of them in intensive care and on a ventilator.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters on Friday that ACT hospitals were well prepared to handle a potential rise in COVID-related admissions, should there be a surge once lockdown restrictions are eased.
Mr Barr raised the subject of hospital capacity with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, along with fellow state and territory leaders, at Friday’s national cabinet meeting.Internet Explorer Channel Network