From ACT Health
Victoria has imposed new state-wide restrictions starting today after a hotel quarantine worker at the Grand Hyatt Hotel tested positive to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Victoria has also identified a number of Tier 1 public exposure sites for which they are requiring individuals to immediately quarantine, get tested and remain in quarantine for 14 days. Additional close contacts are being identified and contacted directly by DHHS.
A new ACT Public Health Direction came into effect at 2.00pm today, declaring these Victorian exposure sites as COVID-19 affected areas.
With this Direction, people currently in the ACT who have recently been in Victoria, must check the Victorian DHHS website to see if they have visited any of these Tier 1 exposure sites during the dates and times listed. If individuals have been to one of the sites, they will need to immediately quarantine and get tested. They will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days after they visited the exposure site, even if they return a negative result.
In addition, anyone in the ACT who is identified by DHHS as a close contact will need to quarantine for 14 days after their last exposure to the case.
All close contacts are required to have a COVID-19 test on entry to quarantine and again prior to completing quarantine.
The Direction will restrict travel to the ACT for people who have been in any of these Victorian exposure sites, or who have been identified as a close contact by DHHS. There will be an online declaration process for those who are already in the ACT, and an exemption process for those wishing to travel to the ACT. Specific advice is below.
If you are currently in the ACT:
- If you are currently in the ACT, and you have been in a Tier 1 Victorian exposure site or identified as a close contact, you must immediately enter quarantine and get tested for COVID-19. You must complete an online declaration form within 24 hours of the Public Health Direction coming into effect today. You must remain in quarantine for 14 days from the date on which you attended the exposure site.
If you wish to enter the ACT:
- If you are planning to enter the ACT, and you have been in a Tier 1 Victorian exposure site or identified as a close contact, you are required by DHHS to quarantine in Victoria. You must not travel to the ACT without an exemption from ACT Health as well as from Victorian authorities. Your exemptions must be granted prior to travel.
Further information about these new travel restrictions will be updated on the ACT COVID-19 website this afternoon. This includes updates to the online declaration form and the exemption form.
ACT Health is monitoring the situation in Victoria closely and will take additional steps if necessary to keep the ACT community safe.
At this time, any Canberrans who are thinking of travelling to Melbourne, are advised to stay up to date with the latest travel advice, and to be prepared to cancel or amend travel plans at short notice, as the COVID-19 situation can change rapidly.
The ACT will welcome around 150 to 180 returning Australian citizens and permanent residents on a Government-facilitated flight from India next week.
They will arrive at Canberra Airport around 1.30pm on Monday 8 February 2021 and will proceed to undertake their mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine, supported by ACT Health.
ACT Health has been working closely with the Canberra Airport and the Commonwealth Government to ensure the safe arrival and care of these passengers. ACT Policing and Australian Defence Force personnel will be on site at the quarantine location to ensure compliance requirements will be met.
ACT Health officials will conduct COVID-19 and other health screening on arrival and will test all passengers on day one and again between day 10 to 12. ACT Health has a robust quarantine program and has measures in place to deal with any potential positive case.
Both the ACT and Commonwealth Governments have worked collaboratively to put in place processes and arrangements for the safe quarantine of these international arrivals.
The ACT’s strict quarantine arrangements mean we are in a good position to contain the spread of any potential infection and every precaution has been taken to minimise the risk to the community.
ACT Health will implement some updates to our Safeguarding Canberrans (SCAN) Program that will further protect the health of staff and government employees working in the hotel quarantine program. As part of this program, hotel quarantine workers will now be required to undergo daily saliva testing at each shift worked in addition to the regular COVID-19 symptom screening and nasal/throat swab testing every seven days.
The ACT Health wellbeing team, including social workers and psychologists, will also be in regular contact with those in quarantine to provide mental health and wellbeing support if required.
Due to the COVID-19 situation overseas, as we welcome returning Australian flights, it is likely we will have COVID-19 cases in quarantine. These cases will be managed in line with ACT Health’s comprehensive safety procedures, taking into account the travellers’ presentation and previous medical history.
This flight is part of broader efforts by all States and Territories working closely with the Commonwealth Government to bring more Australians home.
Update on Belconnen Wastewater
ACT Health is pleased to report that a sample of Belconnen wastewater collected on 1 February 2021 has come back negative with no traces of COVID-19 virus.
This is a great result for Canberra, particularly those who live and work in the Belconnen area.
Results of routine weekly testing on 2 February 2021 at all sites in the ACT, including Belconnen, have not yet been received by ACT Health. However, this initial negative result in Belconnen from 1 February, gives us confidence that the positive detection from last week was likely the result of a recovered case of COVID-19 who was intermittently shedding virus.
Further updates will be provided if any further positive results are detected as part of the ACT Wastewater Surveillance Program.
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 ask Canberrans to:
- Physically distancing from other groups whenever possible
- Continue good hand and respiratory hygiene
- Use the Check In CBR app to check in when out and about
- Stay home if you are unwell
- 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.