Melbourne outbreak stalls easing of restrictions

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr

STAGE three easing of restrictions will still go ahead this Friday (July 10) but Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the government has had to make some changes because of “significant concern” in light of Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak. 

On Monday, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the advice from the chief health officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, is that the ACT will still be able to move to stage three of the easing of restrictions roadmap on midday, Friday.

He, today, says Canberra will move “cautiously” into stage three, and will no longer be implementing a one person per 2sqm rule at this time.

But, the ACT government will still introduce new capacity limits to provide some flexibility for smaller venues. Venues will be able to cater for 25 patrons, or one person per 4sqm of usable space (whichever is greater).

“This should be considered as the new guidance across all industries in the ACT,” Mr Barr says.

More specifically, 50sqm, 75sqm and 100sqm venues can have a maximum of 25 people across the venue, 120sqm venues can have 30 people, and 200sqm venues can hold a maximum of 50 people.

“As previously outlined, the ACT will move to a 25 per cent capacity at sporting and entertainment venues in the ACT following a successful trial of spectators at GIO Stadium last weekend. Large events (indoor or outdoor) which are not ticketed or seated will remain closed,” Mr Barr says.

“Gyms that operate on a 24 hour basis will be able to have a maximum of 25 people in the facility at any one time when facilities are unstaffed.

“Contact community sports will be able to start competitions from midday on Friday. Indoor community sporting venues with tiered seating should have no more than 25 per cent capacity for spectators. Outdoor community sporting events should be limited to 250 spectators.”

As for the Canberra Casino, gaming and gambling venues, the ACT government says they will able to reopen, with increased cleaning of high touch areas. The opening of gambling venues comes after constant calls for the chief health officer to release AHPPC advice on keeping gambling venues closed, including a recommendation from the select committee on the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Restrictions unlikely to ease after ACT records new cases 

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