Business groups have said some sectors could be left behind as Canberra's COVID-19 restrictions are eased once the ACT comes out of lockdown next month.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Monday released long-awaited detail of future restrictions in the ACT, but warned residents should prepare for daily case numbers in the territory to reach into the hundreds as Australia opens up.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also stoked hopes of international travel on Monday, when he told a United States broadcaster that Australians could be travelling overseas "well before" Christmas.
Restrictions in the ACT will be eased in stages after a 64-day lockdown is lifted, with minor amendments also planned for Friday.
Those changes will allow two visitors in households at a time and an extended outdoor recreation period of four hours.
But the detail came after a man in his 90s who had tested positive for COVID-19 while receiving end-of-life care died, the first death since the current outbreak began last month.
The ACT reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, with 17 linked to existing cases. There have been 769 cases since the outbreak began, including 513 who have so far recovered.
There were eight people in hospital, including three patients in intensive care where they required ventilation. Everyone in intensive care was unvaccinated.
Mr Barr said the community should expect the ACT could record daily case numbers of COVID-19 in the hundreds as the nation eased restrictions, but he was confident strong vaccination take up would reduce the hospitalisation rate.
"However, the higher the level of community vaccination, the lower those case numbers will be, the lower the number of serious illnesses will be reported, the lower the number of hospitalisations and people requiring intensive care, and most importantly a lower number of deaths in our community," Mr Barr said.
"That is why this has to be a gradual approach. It will be a challenge, but the ACT's pathway forward, announced today, will ensure that we make a gradual and safer step towards a better Christmas and summer holidays for all Canberrans."
Travel restrictions will be eased slightly for Canberrans in the ACT plans, but rules for interstate travel will be in the hands of other jurisdictions.
An updated set of expected restrictions released on Tuesday included proposed changes to be made on October 1, October 15 and October 29.
The Chief Minister also outlined the dates for a staged return to face-to-face learning in schools, with all students expected to be back in the classroom by November 1.
Strict density limits will apply for indoor venues in both steps, with more people expected to be able to gather at the end of the month.
However, health authorities warned the measures were indicative only and could change if the COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT worsened.
Mr Barr stressed high vaccination coverage in the ACT would allow public health restrictions to be eased for all residents, but he encouraged unvaccinated Canberrans to act quickly to ensure they were protected against COVID-19 before significant restrictions were eased at the end of October.
There were still about 50,000 first doses to be administered, and 150,000 second doses, in the ACT's initial COVID-19 vaccination program, Mr Barr said.
"We've been cautious in our approach here, with a view to give those remaining people who we've got bookings in our system the opportunity to get vaccinated," he said.
"And for the fifth time already, I repeat the call for those who are not yet vaccinated, haven't made a booking: it's time. It really is time to do that."
Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee welcomed the "overdue" plan, but said she was still concerned by what support would be available for businesses forced to trade at reduced capacity.
"We need to ensure these businesses are given the support they need until the restrictions this government is placing on them are lifted sufficiently to enable them to recommence their operations in a financially viable way," Ms Lee said.
Australian Hotels Association ACT general manager Anthony Brierley said imposing a rule to allow one person for every 4 square metres of floorspace in a hospitality venue was awful and unviable.
"The effect is that hospitality businesses aren't going to open up viably until late November or early December," Mr Brierley said.
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