The ACT will be locked down for a further four weeks, in an extension to strict restrictions in a bid to keep a COVID-19 outbreak contained while vaccination rates are boosted.
The ACT recorded 22 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with just two of those in quarantine for their infectious period.
There were 10 people in hospital, including two in intensive care and one person still requiring ventilation.
Fourteen of the new cases have been linked to known cases or clusters, while eight cases remain under early investigation.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman had recommended the lockdown should be extended for four weeks, until October 15.
The restrictions will be reviewed in two weeks' time.
Mr Barr said managing lockdown restrictions was "one of the most challenging balancing acts that any government anywhere in Australia has to face".
The Chief Minister said the ACT would focus on boosting its vaccination rates in the meantime to allow for a safer reopening in the future.
Mr Barr said COVID-19 was unpredictable and the territory government needed to respond to the circumstances in front of it.
The ACT government would focus on public health, getting people back to work and mental health supports, he said.
"They are the clear overarching principles that guide our decision making. We then look at our role and responsibility within the national plan. The often misquoted and misrepresented national plan that we signed up to on the basis of what it actually says," Mr Barr said.
Mr Barr also again levelled criticism against federal politicians and the media for misinterpreting the national plan for reopening, agreed to by the national cabinet.
"It doesn't mean you can't push back against it with facts. None of the states and territories signed up to the national plan without reading it and without being focused on the detail of it," he said.
Minor changes will come into effect from 11.59pm on Friday to allow real estate agents to conduct in-person viewings of property by appointment, recreational sport for five people and small businesses to have five people on site to operate click-and-collect services.
The return to face-to-face schooling was also addressed.
Year 12 students will go back to campus from the start of term 4, Tuesday October 5, to do their final assessments and exams.
On Monday, October 18, year 11 students will return to face-to-face learning, as long as the health conditions allow.
Preschool to year 10 students will continue remote learning during at least the first four weeks of Term 4. No date has been set for their return to school.
Dr Coleman said the lockdown extension was not the news most Canberrans had wanted to hear.
"This was not an easy decision for me and my team. We have considered all of the evidence," Dr Coleman said.
There have been 528 cases associated with the ACT outbreak since August 12, including 314 people who have spent some time in the community while infectious.
There are 53 cases with unknown sources of infection, and eight separate introductions of the Delta variant of COVID-19 into the ACT.
Dr Coleman said two of those introduction had occurred in the last 48 hours, which showed there was an ongoing risk of COVID-19 being introduced into the ACT community.
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Mr Barr on Friday had said the ACT would consider the impact of the NSW plan as part of the territory's roadmap but it would not be the main factor.
"Local conditions, local vaccination rates, local epidemiology will be the major driving forces behind our next steps and where we go in the coming months," Mr Barr said at the time.
"But what's happening in surrounding NSW is an input into risk factor and clearly also provides an important guidance on really where the velocity of the double dose vaccination path that they follow."
The Chief Minister has repeatedly stressed the ACT would ease restrictions slowly, and has warned of a difficult spring period.
"We have a very delicate balancing act over the next three months to step out safely of lockdown - gently, as the epidemiology allows - but still protecting our community against the risk of the virus coming back in and sparking another outbreak," Mr Barr said in late August.
The ACT recorded 13 cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, which included just two cases that were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
Mr Barr on Monday said: "Today's number of people infectious in the community is a concern and presents a challenging period of this outbreak."
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