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From today, Canberrans can have two visitors under eased COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

While Canberrans eagerly await the planned end of lockdown on October 15, some changes to restrictions come into effect from today.

Key points:

  • From today, Canberrans can have visitors again — two people in a home at any one time
  • ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is urging Canberrans to be sensible about the eased restrictions
  • National parks are open, dental services can resume and more shops can operate click-and-collect services

Two visitors are now allowed in another household, up to five people can gather outside for up to four hours, and all non-essential retail will be allowed to operate click-and-collect or delivery services.

National parks have reopened, dental services can resume, and personal training and outdoor boot camps can recommence, with no more than two people — excluding instructors. 

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said yesterday, while many Canberrans were excited by the prospect of visiting another household, people should not schedule visits to all of their friends just yet.

He said the eased restrictions were not an excuse to “bring 10 people into a household, or four people into a household”.

He reminded Canberrans to “be sensible”.

Four women wearing masks walk outdoors on a sunny day
Canberrans can now exercise or meet outside for recreational activities for up to four hours.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

For example, if you live in a share house and multiple members of your household have an intimate partner, those partners can all visit the home at once, but households should “apply judgment”, remembering Canberra is still in lockdown.

Mr Barr yesterday confirmed that very young children also did not count in the two-person limit, and said parents could take their child to visit another household.

“If there’s a caring responsibility that would mean that that young child would be left without any supervision, then it is appropriate,” he said. 

“The age of the child is a factor in that, so the public health directions do allow for those sorts of circumstances.” 

But if parents have multiple young kids, Mr Barr suggested getting a carer to visit the home, like a grandparent, to look after the children before visiting other friends.

A bushwalker stands with their foot on a rock looking at a vast view, clouds in the distance.
National parks are allowed to reopen under eased restrictions.(ABC News: Tahlia Roy)

From today, non-essential retail stores will also be able to begin click-and-collect services for the first time since this lockdown began, but with only five people allowed in the store — larger businesses may not realistically be able to resume trading.

At IKEA in Canberra, for example, click-and-collect will not be operating.

Instead, a spokeswoman said the Canberra branch would continue assisting their distribution centre to make deliveries.

The ACT’s lockdown is due to end on 15 October.

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