What's On

  • Written by ACT Government

Released 30/12/2021

National Cabinet met today to discuss future Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine (TTIQ) arrangements and the supply of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).

Broad agreement has been reached on national close contact definitions and quarantining and testing arrangements. These are essentially aligned with the current ACT framework with some minor adjustments as the supply of RATs increases.

NSW will provide around one million RATs at cost to the ACT from 17 January 2022. We will work with them on the details of this as well as further potential joint procurement arrangements with other state and territories. These additional tests will supplement our existing stockpile and will be available for use in our system later in January.

We have more RATs on order to respond to the evolution of testing arrangements in the context of higher case numbers and community transmission.

National Cabinet has also agreed to work on a concessional RAT supply arrangement to provided highly subsidised tests to low income households. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Response to the current ACT COVID situation

As 2021 draws to close, I want to thank Canberrans for helping us to keep our city safe. Our world leading vaccination rate is testament to our community’s care for each other.

We are dealing with an ever-changing set of circumstances.

With the new variant of the virus, our public health objective is to reduce community transmission, reduce pressure on our hospitals and protect those most vulnerable.

Vaccination goals

Our best defence against the omicron variant is vaccination. It remains the best way to reduce transmission and disease.

Making sure people get their booster shots and delivering vaccines to our 5 to 11-year-olds will be our key priority in the weeks and months ahead.

In partnership with General Practitioners and pharmacists, around 350,000 vaccinations will be delivered over the next three months.

Public health settings

The ACT continues to implement the public health advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and our own Chief Health Officer. This includes asking Canberrans to wear masks indoors, continue other COVID-safe behaviours including social distancing and good hand hygiene, and getting a booster as soon as you become eligible.

Work from home where possible

In addition to last week’s decision to mandate masks for indoor settings, today we are asking Canberrans to work from home where this works for them and their employer.

The ACT Public Service has taken the lead in flexible working arrangements throughout the pandemic. As Canberrans return to work in January, we are asking other employers to support their employees to work from home where possible.

While many employees will need to return to the workplace to meet business needs or for their own wellbeing, working from home where possible will help to reduce transmission while we continue to learn more about the impact of Omicron – not just in the ACT but across Australia.

Taking sensible steps like wearing masks and working from home will minimise transmission and give us time to get kids vaccinated and booster jabs in arms.

We recognise there are Canberrans who, for a range of reasons, may have concerns – and that is OK.

We will continue to support vulnerable Canberrans and provide as much information as possible to help people make the decisions that are right for them.

There are outdoor events planned in Canberra over the next month that have robust COVID safe plans. If people are concerned about community transmission of COVID, we recommend avoiding crowded spaces and wearing a mask when you’re around people you don’t live with. People should also stay at home and seek a COVID-19 test if they are feeling unwell.

The ACT Government will continue working with the community to make sure Canberra remains safe and strong in 2022.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

«ACT Government Media Releases | «Minister Media Releases

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