Diplomat brings back covid to Canberra

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A DIPLOMAT in his 30s is Canberra’s latest covid case and the ACT Health Minister has warned to expect more quarantine cases as people continue to return to Australia from overseas in the coming months.

The man flew into Sydney International Airport on November 15 and travelled to Canberra by private vehicle.

ACT Health has identified two close contacts of the diplomat, and all three are in self-isolation.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith announced the new case this morning (November 18), saying the new case didn’t present any significant risks to the community.

The ACT’s last reported case on October 22 was also a returning diplomat, in his 70s, the first active COVID-19 case in more than three months.

The territory’s total number of covid cases is 115, including three deaths. 

“The circumstances of this case demonstrate that our quarantine system here in the ACT is working well to protect the Canberra community from COVID-19,” says the Minister.

“Given the COVID-19 situation internationally, as people continue to return to Australia from overseas in the coming months, there will be a high likelihood of further positive cases here from those in quarantine.”

Meanwhile, all flights from Adelaide into Canberra Airport will continue to be met by ACT Health public health response teams to provide travellers with information on COVID-19 symptoms and locations in the ACT where they can undergo testing if they develop symptoms while in the ACT.

Testing will also remain available at the airport for anyone travelling from SA with COVID-19 symptoms to facilitate quick and easy testing.

The ACT Public Health Emergency has been extended for another 90 days until February 17.

The extension of the emergency declaration enables ACT chief health officer Kerry Coleman to continue to take appropriate action, or give any direction, necessary to protect Canberrans from COVID-19.


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