The ACT government is toughening up the safeguards against people bringing the coronavirus from Victoria.
It's instituted a list of preconditions which must be met before permission is granted to be exempt from the travel ban.
Different rules apply to returning ACT residents from those who have either come straight from Victoria or been there recently.
The only direct entry to the territory from Victoria is via the airport. Earlier in the week, it was possible to fly in and for the incoming passenger then to assure ACT Health staff in the terminal that he or she would go straight to quarantine. Those who couldn't were put on a flight back to Melbourne.
But the new system means that travellers from Victoria will need preapproved exemption through a formal online system - they won't be able to get on a flight and be allowed in without this prior approval.
Giving false information would be a criminal offence.
For returning residents, the condition is having a verifiable place to quarantine, either at home or at a hotel at the incomer's expense.
The stipulation is: "Accommodation needs to allow for appropriate separation from other household members who are not in quarantine. Household members in quarantine would ideally have a separate bedroom, bathroom and should avoid spending time in communal spaces at the same time as other people in the home who are not in quarantine."
Visitors from Victoria won't be allowed in unless it's for the following reasons:
- providing essential services which can't be provided by anyone else
- compassionate grounds like visiting a relative in palliative care
- needing to attend or receive a service which is only available in the ACT
- entering for child access or critical care arrangements
- to attend court or legal proceedings
- moving to the ACT
- other urgent or compassionate reason
The government stipulates what it thinks are essential workers:
- Health care worker
- Government worker, law enforcement. military
- Member of parliament or staff
- Construction, engineering, or manufacturing
It's not clear how incomers should get from the airport to their place of quarantine. Earlier in the week, ACT Health officials were telling them to go by taxi but sit in the back of the cab.
The rules bring the ACT into line with New South Wales, particularly to stop Canberra Airport being a back door for Victorians to get into the ACT and NSW - if the rules were looser at the airport than they were at the Victoria/NSW land border, Victorians could fly in and then travel on to New South Wales.