ACT Joins Australian States in Restricting Sydneysiders Amid NSW Cluster

ACT Joins Australian States in Restricting Sydneysiders Amid NSW Cluster
People waiting in long lines for Covid-19 tests at the Brookvale Centre in Sydney, Australia on Dec. 19, 2020. (Lee Hulsman/Getty Images)

The Australian Capital Territory has joined every state in Australia and the Northern Territory in slapping travel restrictions on greater Sydney, as an outbreak in the city continues to grow days out from Christmas.

From midnight on Sunday, the ACT will require anyone coming from greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Nepean Blue Mountains to enter quarantine.

"If you are not an ACT resident and have been in any of these places, our message is simple ... do not travel to the ACT," ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman told reporters on Sunday.

Anyone in the same household as the traveller will also be required to quarantine, she said.

ACT Health will not be considering exemption requests for non-residents coming from these regions, except in extremely extenuating circumstances, Coleman added.

"I do understand that this will be difficult for many people and we definitely don't take these decisions lightly.

"While we will not have the restrictions in place any longer than we need to, we need the community to be prepared, this is likely to continue over Christmas and potentially into the New Year."

NSW recorded 30 new cases in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. on Saturday, taking the number of cases believed to be linked to the northern beaches cluster to 70.

By Tiffanie Turnbull
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