A quick trip across the border to visit a pub or restaurant will be out of the question for fully vaccinated Canberrans on Monday, as NSW begins to reopen after months locked down.
"The Standing Exemption remains unchanged and allows ACT residents to enter the border region for essential reasons only," an ACT Health spokesperson said.
They said ACT residents should not be entering the approved NSW border postcodes for camping, attending gyms, hospitality venues, pools and other non-essential activities.
"It's a handful of days, I understand NSW will be aggressively enforcing their rules, so ACT residents would face hefty fines if they were to cross the border into NSW if you're unvaccinated in particular," the Chief Minister Andrew Barr said on Monday.
"Travel will change on Friday, then it will change again further at the end of October, then in December when NSW drops their vaccinated versus unvaccinated status, travel will free up significantly.
He said the "reasons for travel are not going to change dramatically on Friday, the number of postcodes within the Canberra region standing exemption will increase."
"That will be the arrangement really for the last two weeks of October," he said.
"Beyond the point at which NSW reaches 80 per cent double dose they've then indicated that they will make changes, for example, to allow Greater Sydney to travel into the regions."
"That would then presumably be a trigger point at which the ACT would also be allowed to travel further into the regions ."
NSW has significantly eased restrictions for fully vaccinated people after the state hit the 70 per cent vaccination threshold last week, allowing gyms, hospitality and retail to reopen their doors after months locked down.
On Friday, the ACT will exit its own lockdown, enabling the return of gyms, hospitality, hairdressers and accommodation sites, which will still be subject to capacity restrictions.
"We're hoping that later this week, the ACT comes out of lockdown midnight Thursday night, then people will be able to travel more freely around NSW, but that's hopefully going to be confirmed midweek" James McTavish, NSW Cross Border Commissioner said on ABC.
People who live in NSW approved postcodes but work in Canberra will also miss out on the fun this week.
"People from New South Wales who enter the ACT for any purpose until the ACT comes out of lockdown will have to abide by stay-at-home directions once they return home," Mr McTavish said.
"So for example, if you live in Queanbeyan, you work in Civic, when you go back to Queanbeyan tonight you've got to abide by stay-at-home directions."
Border patrols will remain in place along the ACT border, police said.
"ACT Policing does and will continue to conduct a range of both border and 'anywhere, anytime' checks on travellers from outside the ACT to verify that their movements are compliant with the current health directions," a spokesperson said.
"This includes having the necessary exemptions and any other requirements to enter or be in the ACT."
Residents of approved NSW border regions who travel into the state beyond those approved postcodes will not then be allowed to enter the ACT.
"Border postcode bubble residents should ensure that they continue to be compliant with the terms of their standing exemption as travel to areas outside of those postcodes would then prohibit them from entering the ACT and would require them to seek an exemption to do so," the ACT Policing spokesperson said.
Action against non-compliance includes turning people away at the border, issuing fines and directing people to leave the ACT.
An ACT Health spokesperson said public messaging about these restrictions had been issues through "multiple ACT Government communication channels, including through social media, our press conferences and the COVID-19 website."
We will continue communicate any changes to these arrangements and restrictions prior to them coming into effect.
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