Police will be given greater powers to keep customers moving when they are shopping for essentials, after the ACT government moved to tighten lockdown rules.
Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said officers would continue to educate people, but anyone found to be blatantly disregarding the rules would be fined.
Police issued three fines for public health breaches on Monday, and made 340 compliance checks and more than 600 traffic stops.
Can I still go shopping?
Yes, for essential items only. And you will need to move through promptly. Health authorities are eager to prevent new exposure sites from popping up at essential retailers - like supermarkets and hardware shops - and want customers to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said people should be at home most of the time. They should only be leaving when they need items that are absolutely essential.
"If you need to go to the hardware store, get in and get out quickly. And most people shouldn't need to go to the hardware store today or tomorrow or the rest of this week. Please stay at home," Mr Barr said
Are there any other new restrictions?
Lockdown life will not change for most people. Mr Barr has ruled out introducing a curfew, and has watered down talk of a travel restriction radius around people's homes.
"We don't believe it's necessary today. The issue that we're particularly focusing on is around too many people gathering too close to each other in a couple of retail settings," he said.
When can construction start work again?
Mr Barr said the ACT government was working on transition plans for industries so they could begin work in a Covid-safe environment. He said there were a large number of close contacts in the construction industry, and it was not the time to let workers get back on the tools.
"We are reviewing our public health measures every single day and when it is safe to make changes, we will. But today is not that day. We are working on Covid safe transition plans for the construction industry and for other businesses," he said.
Are the new cases linked?
Of the 17 new cases announced on Tuesday, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said 10 were linked to previous outbreaks.
Where are people catching Covid?
The Chief Health Officer said the Canberra outbreak had shown how transmissible the Delta variant of COVID-19 could be.
Health authorities have identified six transmission sites so far in the community.
People have become infected with the coronavirus at the Fiction nightclub, the Downer Community Centre, the Assembly Pub, the Phillip Lennock Jaguar car dealership, the Gold Creek School and Lyneham High School.
Four cases have been linked to Lyneham High School, in addition to the primary case there.
Three cases had been identified associated with Gold Creek school, along with three at the Downer Community Centre and at least six with the Fiction nightclub.
"We're starting to see secondary and even tertiary [cases]. That just goes to show us how quickly this is transmitting and how transmissible this is," Dr Coleman said.
Will we get more cases?
Dr Coleman says the number of cases will fluctuate each day, but people should expect the number to rise. The number of exposure times and locations has grown past 100, but health authorities also expect the list to stop growing as quickly once the effect of the lockdown can be seen in the outbreak. Once lockdown is working to break the chains of the virus' transmission, the number of cases each day should decline. It will be critical that the cases are in isolation throughout their infectious period.
Do we know how the outbreak started?
No, not yet. Investigations are still underway, but Dr Coleman said ACT Health was working to understand how the earliest cases of the outbreak are linked and the order in which they became infected. While genomic sequencing has linked the Canberra outbreak to several cases in Sydney, there is no evidence the first identified case was in the Greater Sydney area.
What should I do about getting a test?
The large number of contacts identified from exposure sites - there are now more than 6500 people who have self identified - means the ACT's testing system is under sustained pressure.
About 2 per cent of Canberrans had a swab taken for a Covid test on Monday.
Health authorities have urged close contacts to come forward for testing, but have told casual contacts to quarantine until lines at testing clinics are shorter.
The Exhibition Park drive-through testing clinic closed its gates about 3pm on Tuesday, with the other clinics also recording high demand.
"All of the ACT's testing sites are very busy, so we'd recommend staying home for now, rather than joining the long queues," an ACT Health spokeswoman said on Tuesday afternoon.
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