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Canberra Today 3°/5° | Friday, August 19, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Construction to reopen but other restrictions rely on jabs

THE recommencement of the construction industry will begin on Friday (September 10) in line with covid-safe guidelines, according to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. 

The construction guidelines will reflect the arrangements that are in place in NSW and Victoria. 

As part of these guidelines, Mr Barr said: “There is to be no interaction between construction workers and residents within a construction site, a renovation site, or any premise. 

“There will be a further industry briefing this afternoon ahead of the restart of work across the balance of the construction sector, ahead of Friday.”

Commencement will be met by a relieved construction industry, however, the future of easing more restrictions will depend on vaccinations. 

“We are going to be facing a challenging few months,” said Mr Barr just after midday at the daily covid announcement. 

“Until we exceed those vaccination targets that provide the community with the protection we need, we can only gradually ease restrictions. 

“Our primary goal remains the health and protecting the health of our community. 

“We are acutely aware of the need to also consider the economic impacts and the mental health and wellbeing impacts that come from ongoing public health restrictions. 

“But to be as blunt as I can be, if the virus gets out of control in Canberra, we will experience even greater health and economic challenges than we are right now. We can’t let that happen and we won’t.”

He said it’s going to be a balancing act over the coming weeks and months, and reminded Canberrans that the best thing they can do is to get vaccinated as soon as they can. 

“The only way that we can gradually ease the restrictions in the coming weeks and months is for more people to get vaccinated and for people who have been to exposure sites or have symptoms to come forward, get tested and isolate,” he said. 

“If we all do that, then we can gently step our way out of the situation we are in now. If it goes the other way, and we see our case numbers explode, we will not be able to ease restrictions in the coming weeks. 

“I know there are some people who really don’t seem to care about the rest of the community but for those people, care about yourself and those closest to you.”

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Ian Meikle, editor

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