Federal politicians remain in limbo for now, despite the ACT Chief Minister calling for the parliamentary sitting fortnight to be postponed.
Parliament was due to sit for a fortnight from next Monday after a week-long interlude, during which Canberra plunged into a seven-day lockdown.
And after 19 new cases on Monday prompted a two-week extension, plans for the next sitting period were have been thrown into doubt.
The Canberra Times understands high-level Commonwealth and ACT advice was continuing, and a decision was not expected until later this week.
It comes after ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr poured cold water on the prospect, confirming he had spoken to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese to air his concerns.
"They need to consider the urgency of a federal parliamentary sitting and whether it is required," he said.
"My preference would be that they don't, unless they absolutely had to. And if they did, it would need to be very minimal sitting and absolutely Covid-safe.
"But my starting point would be now is probably not the time for the Federal Parliament to return."
Mr Albanese claimed he was surprised not to have received contact from the government over plans for the next three weeks, but said the decision was ultimately for Mr Morrison.
"I am of the view that Parliament should sit wherever possible. Our democratic processes are important," he said.
"But where it's not possible, we've always been co-operative, as we were last year, in terms of rescheduling any parliamentary sittings that are required.
"We've been co-operative with regard to flexible arrangements with Parliament. And we will continue to be so."
Parliament remained open during a sitting fortnight at the beginning of this month, but was at significantly reduced capacity with many Sydney and Brisbane-based MPs forced to stay away.
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Politicians who did make it to Canberra were also urged to remain in their hotels where possible over fears the fortnight could become a super-spreader event.
But Thursday, the final day of that sitting period, was marred by news the ACT would be forced into lockdown at 5pm, after the territory recorded its first Covid case in over a year.
The case was not linked to a politician.
Mr Barr also confirmed the ACT budget, due at the end of the month, was likely to be delayed.
He had already spoken to ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee, Greens leader Shane Rattenbury, and Speaker Joy Burch over impacts to the budget and estimates.
"We'll finalise those details, but at the moment the lockdown extends over what would be the scheduled budget day and budget week. So it is most likely that it will be postponed," he said.
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