Canberrans have been advised not to travel to greater Sydney unless it is "absolutely" essential, as authorities remain on high alert to the steadily rising number of COVID-19 cases in NSW.
The new travel warning came as Chief Minister Andrew Barr signaled that any further easing of coronavirus restrictions in the ACT will be relatively minor.
Mr Barr added that it was "very, very unlikely" that outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people, which were to be permitted under the next phase in the winding back of restrictions, would be allowed in the near future.
The third stage in the restrictions road map allow small venues to increase their capacity to 25 patrons, while pokies, casinos, strip clubs and brothels would be allowed to open.
The easing of some restrictions could yet happen next Friday, but Mr Barr said the government wasn't in a position to commit to that at this stage.
The ACT has just one active case of COVID-19 and reported no new infections on Friday.
Mr Barr said that while the local situation was positive and NSW was effectively containing its outbreaks, the ACT remained at risk.
"Our local situation is positive ... but we cannot overlook the broader environment," he said.
"We cannot ignore the risk of a rapid spread of the virus in Canberra if we did start to see more cases in NSW."
NSW reported 21 new cases on Friday. Two of those cases are under investigation and one was acquired in Victoria. A further 13 cases are linked to known clusters and two are in hotel quarantine.
Canberrans are advised to reassess their need to travel to areas of regional NSW with known cases.
Mr Barr said avoiding travel to areas with known infections was one of the easiest ways to limit the risk of the virus being brought into the ACT.
"That is why we are urging people to avoid unnecessary travel outside of the Canberra region ... and unnecessary travel to greater Sydney," he said.
"If you simply must travel it is your responsibility to maintain physical distancing and to practice good hygiene."
Mr Barr described the crisis in Victoria - where 627 new infections and eight deaths were recorded on Friday - as "heartbreaking to watch".
"We all must remain vigilant. The situation in Victoria shows just how contagious and formidable this virus is," he said.
Mr Barr said he and chief health officer Kerryn Coleman were acutely aware that each decision they made had consequences for the lives and livelihoods of Canberrans.
The uncertainty surrounding the move to the next phase of restrictions has significantly affected the territory's clubs, which are struggling for revenue amid the ban on gaming machines.
The Labor Club this week shut down two of its venues until further notice, while Southern Cross Club's Woden, Tuggeranong and Jamison venues won't trade on Monday and Tuesday until restrictions are eased.
With gaming off limits, Clubs ACT chief executive Gwyn Rees this week said more venues could be forced to close their doors.
Mr Barr said the ACT government was considering further support for sectors struggling amid the crisis. Details would be announced in next month's economic update, he said.
Mr Barr indicated that support would hinge on whether or not sectors - such as clubs - were still subject to public health restrictions which limited their operations.
"Clubs can be confident that we are conscious of their issues at the moment because of the public health directions," Mr Barr said.
"Were they [restrictions] to have to remain in place for public health reasons then that would have to necessitate an ongoing array of support to that sector.
"[But] if they were to open on Friday, then that is a different equation obviously."
Any ACT resident planning to return to the ACT from Victoria must notify ACT Health through either the online form or the COVID-19 Helpline on (02) 6207 7244 and quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria have passed.