Few Canberrans probably expected Chief Minister Andrew Barr would announce an end to the ACT lockdown when he fronted the public yesterday.
But there's plenty of evidence, judging from the backlash to his announcement, that many wanted more clarity about the way forward than they received.
Mr Barr would argue that in extending the lockdown, he gave whatever certainty he could responsibly offer at this stage. Amid all the uncertainty that the Delta variant has created as it surges in NSW and Victoria, that's understandable to a point.
He confirmed the territory government would ease restrictions when the key vaccine targets are reached. The decision to extend the lockdown by four weeks - to October 15 - essentially means the ACT will wait until it reaches 70 per cent vaccination targets before it sees any significant freedoms.
Aside from that, it's not clear what exact restrictions will be eased at that stage.
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Health authorities and politicians managing the COVID crisis need to strike a delicate balance. They don't want to over promise by committing too early to easing restrictions at particular dates, only to shatter those dreams if the epidemiology later doesn't allow it.
But people want answers to basic questions, ones as fair and understandable as "when will I be able to go out to a restaurant?" or "will I be able to see my parents soon?".
These are difficult for the government to answer. But even an example, an indication of some of the exact restrictions Canberra can expect to ease would have gone a long way to buoying morale and consolidating support for the lockdown.
The ACT government's announcement on Tuesday lacked hope.
It included some minor easing of restrictions for real estate, recreational sport such as golf and tennis, and an increase in the number of people who can provide click and collect at retail stores.
While Canberrans know little about their path out of lockdown, residents of NSW know exactly what to expect when the state hits its 70 per cent target.
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Indoor hospitality venues will be able to open with one person per four-square-metres, gyms can open with the same density restrictions, hairdressers can open with five people on premises and up to 50 people can attend weddings and funerals.
NSW by no means provides an example for the ACT in managing COVID. The territory government is right to factor in case numbers and hospitalisations in its decisions, and freedoms should not be given to fully vaccinated people until the entire population has been offered the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.
But the government could have offered more clarity on the next steps.
The Chief Minister said the ACT's next transition would be towards medium public health measures such as increased retail activity, seated dining for small groups and five visitors to a household.
When pressed for more detail yesterday, Mr Barr was vague, indicating it would follow a similar path as last year.
People need a bit more than that. Clearer details would have been appreciated.
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