Released 07/01/2022 - Joint media release
The ACT Government will implement additional mandatory public health measures to help keep Canberrans safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to existing public health measures, from 12 noon, Saturday 8 January 2022 hospitality and licensed businesses (including cafes, bars and nightclubs, and indoor entertainment venues) must ensure that patrons are seated while eating and drinking, and ;dancing at these venues will not be permitted.
Nightclubs will be able to operate as bars within existing density limits. Dancing in these venues will not be permitted however.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that with COVID-19 cases across the border growing rapidly, and the ACT experiencing more than a thousand new cases today, these measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
"Mandatory face masks, density limits and other public health measures for businesses and indoor venues will also continue.
"Events will continue with ACT Health working closely with event organisers to ensure COVID safety plans are in place."
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said that Canberrans are also strongly advised to consider the size of their gatherings both in homes and outdoors.
“COVID-19 isn’t going away and as a community we are learning to live with it. However, we do need everyone to continue to be responsible in the way they manage their social events through things like minimising the size of gatherings at home and remaining in known social groups when outside of the home.
“If you can hold your gathering outdoors, then please do. If your gathering is indoors, consider how many guests you invite. Keeping these numbers low, along with practising COVID safe measures such as continuing to wear a mask, physical distancing and good hand hygiene, will help limit the spread of the virus,” she said.
The ACT Government will continue to review the public health directions over the coming days and may look to introduce further measures if necessary, including possible limits to indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said that the ACT health system is starting to experience increased pressure, with more than 230 health care workers currently in quarantine.
“To support our frontline health workers, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cease most Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries at Calvary Public Hospital for the next six to eight weeks.
“Postponing elective surgeries is always incredibly difficult, but taking this action will enable additional health care staff to be redeployed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. There will be no changes to elective surgeries at Canberra Hospital or in the ACT’s private hospitals at this time.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will look to switch non-essential elective surgeries back on at Calvary as soon as we possibly can.
“’I’d like to thank Canberrans for their ongoing support at this time,” she said.
Further information will be made available online at: www.covid19.act.gov.au
- Statement ends -