08 October 2020

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT in the past 24 hours, leaving the ACT’s total at 113. There are no active cases in the ACT.

A total of 110 cases have recovered from COVID-19 in the ACT.

There are no COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals.

The ACT has recorded three (3) deaths.

The number of negative tests recorded in the ACT is now 97,181.

Outdoor spaces able to have one person per two square metres from tomorrow

As flagged at last week’s announcement on the move to Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman is advising that the density limit for outdoor spaces will be changed to one person per two square metres of usable space.

This change will come into effect from 9am tomorrow (Friday 9 October), along with the other elements of Step 3.2 announced last week.

Dr Coleman said the changes to density for gatherings that are happening as part of Step 3.2 will mean businesses, and those organising events and activities, will now have the opportunity to consider the density that best works for their venue or event in a safe and sensible way.

“Over the past week, we have taken our time to thoroughly assess the public health risks. We are now happy for all venues to have one person per two square metres in outdoor spaces, up to a maximum gathering size of 200 people,” Dr Coleman said.

“There is considerable evidence that outdoor spaces present a lower risk of transmission of COVID-19 compared to indoor spaces. On that basis, given our COVID-19 situation remains stable, I am confident we can increase the density of people outdoors, and do so in a safe manner with appropriate COVID Safety Plans in place.

“To support this move, I am also strongly encouraging businesses, venues and facilities that are required to collect information for contact tracing, to use an electronic method. I would remind them of the free Check In CBR app, which is available to help them fulfill this requirement. The app is easy to use, reduces the administrative load on businesses and organisations and will ensure that we are in the best position possible to respond to an outbreak if it occurs.

“We know this move is an important change for many businesses, events and activities that will further support a return to business as usual in a COVID safe manner.”

With the move to Step 3.2 tomorrow, the following top level easing of restrictions will also come into effect:

  • All gatherings can increase to 200 people, where one person per four square metres of usable space can be maintained in indoor spaces, and one person per two square metres of usable space in outdoor spaces.
  • Medium-sized hospitality venues with total usable space between 101 and 200 square metres can have 50 people throughout the venue (excluding staff). If they wish to have more than 50 people they can calculate their capacity based on the one per four square metres of usable indoor space and one per two square metres of outdoor space rule.
  • Large indoor seated venues (for example, Canberra Theatre and Llewellyn Hall) can have ticketed events of no more than 50% capacity, up to 1,000 people, provided they have a COVID Safe Plan for each specific event.
  • Cinemas and movie theatres can sell up to 50% capacity of each theatre, up to 200 people.
  • Enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating and grandstands can have no more than 50% capacity, up to 1,000 people, provided they have a COVID Safe Plan for each event.
  • GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval can have crowds of no more than 50% capacity with an appropriate COVID Safe Plan in place for each event.

General information

ACT Health reminds anyone who has been outside the ACT to monitor the health website of the jurisdiction they visited for updates on where confirmed cases have spent time and where other alerts may be in place. Please adhere to the health advice on those websites. In particular, take note of the latest areas in NSW.

Likewise, if you intend on travelling, please monitor the other jurisdiction’s website. The advice on affected areas is changing regularly, so keep up to date with the latest advice. Please be mindful and aware of how easily the virus spreads.

ACT residents returning from Victoria by air must continue to advise ACT Health before their arrival, preferably at least 72 hours before the intended travel date, and immediately quarantine for 14 days.

It is everyone’s responsibility to follow the health advice and do what we can to ensure we keep ourselves and the community safe. We continue to ask Canberrans to:

  1. Avoid large crowds
  2. Keep 1.5 metres apart whenever possible
  3. Continue good hand and respiratory hygiene
  4. Stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

The ACT Government also has a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is (02) 6207 7244 and is available between 8am and 8pm daily.