Canberra to enter sixth week of lockdown

The ACT is set to enter its sixth week in lockdown as the territory government walks back from a COVID-zero strategy.

© Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS The ACT is days away from reaching the 80 per cent first dose COVID vaccine milestone.

While some nearby local government areas in NSW will spend their first day out of lockdown on Friday, Canberra is set to spend another four weeks under stay-at-home restrictions.

Bega Valley and Snowy Mountains local government areas were among the 12 regions in NSW that had their lockdowns lifted after zero new COVID-19 cases were recorded there.

However, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro urged residents in those areas to remain vigilant.

The ACT’s lockdown was initially slated to end on Friday, but Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced a four-week extension earlier this week.

While he is confident the ACT will be able to contain the virus, he would not predict there would be zero cases by the time the lockdown is forecast to end on October 15.


Video: SA paramedics must be fully vaccinated for COVID callouts (ABC NEWS)

“We have in place policy settings that are keeping our case numbers very low. But there are still new cases, and new cases infectious in the community,” Mr Barr said on Thursday.

The ACT is days away from reaching the vaccine milestone of having 80 per cent of its residents over 16 having received their first dose.

The most recent federal vaccine statistics showed almost 78 per cent of eligible Canberrans have received one dose, while nearly 54 per cent are fully immunised, the highest level out of any jurisdiction.

More than 97 per cent of residential aged care workers in the ACT have received at least one vaccine dose.

Friday is the day of the deadline for aged-care workers to have had their first vaccine.

It comes after the ACT recorded 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 of them linked.

However, the number of patients in hospital has increased to nine, with one in intensive care on a ventilator.

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