Canberra won't follow NSW and Victoria out of lockdown

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The ACT government says it does not feel under pressure to do more to ease its Covid-19 restrictions, with its larger NSW and Victorian neighbours setting out their plans to end lockdowns.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says the territory has never had restrictions as severe as others.

‘I think when people go around talking about our lockdown as if it’s the harshest in the country, they really have to actually pay attention to what has been going on,’ the minister told reporters on Sunday.

‘In Melbourne, and in some of these local government areas, they have had curfews, which we have never had.’

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She said the ACT will follow its own path.

‘The chief minister has actually laid out that path but we will have more details to say at the next check point by the first of October,’ she said.


Video: Victoria and the ACT will ‘most likely’ come out of lockdown when NSW does (Sky News Australia)

The ACT recorded 17 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections under this outbreak to 618.

The territory’s latest update came the day before available bookings for 12 to 15-year-olds at ACT mass vaccination clinics.

‘There are are about 25,000 young people in this age group in the ACT,’ Ms Stephen-Smith said.

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‘So while this is a relatively small cohort, we know that it is particularly important that we continue our vaccination program to ensure that young people in our community can be vaccinated.’

The territory will change its daily reporting of vaccination rates from Monday to include the percentage of Canberrans aged 12 and over who have been inoculated rather than the 16-plus percentage.

‘So you will see those numbers go down a few percentage points,’ the minister said.

Even so, the ACT enjoys one of the highest rates of vaccination in the country at around 78 per cent single dose and 54 per cent fully covered with two doses.

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