The ACT's contact tracing rules are set to be overhauled with relaxed rules for casual contact settings and a focus on quarantining positive cases and close contacts.
Health authorities are expected to announce changes ahead of Canberra's lockdown being lifted on Friday.
The ACT is also expected to expand its border bubble to allow for a standing exemption for more NSW postcodes, however, people will only be allowed to travel between the jurisdictions for essential reasons.
NSW celebrated its first major easing of restrictions on Monday, prompting Goulburn and Jindabyne to call on the ACT government to restart free travel with regional areas.
There were 32 new COVID-19 cases reported in the ACT in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday. Twenty-five cases were linked to previous cases and 19 of these are household contacts.
Eleven people spent their entire infectious period in quarantine and nine spent time in the community while infectious and posed a risk of transmission to others.
There are 18 patients in Canberra's hospitals with COVID-19. Seven are in intensive care and six require ventilation.
Authorities are making preparations for Canberra to come out of lockdown and are readying testing sites in anticipation for greater demand as a result of increased exposure sites.
"We'd anticipate there being some further demand on testing," Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.
"But we have the capacity to flex that up either at our existing centres or to do pop-up testing in certain contexts."
To curb this demand work is also being undertaken to relax test, trace, isolate and quarantine arrangements.
"There will be absolute clarity on who needs to quarantine and when," Mr Barr said.
"Bottom line if you are carrying the virus and you are a case then you are still going to have to quarantine but there will certainly be changes around casual contact settings."
Fully vaccinated NSW residents in ACT border towns relished in new freedoms on Monday, with many flocking out for meal and a haircut.
However, Canberrans were warned against travelling to nearby NSW towns to enjoy those freedoms as they would face the consequences.
"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," Mr Barr said.
Fully vaccinated residents who live in border towns, such as Queanbeyan, but work in the ACT will also not be allowed to enjoy their state's freedom as they will still be subject to stay-at-home orders.
Residents in border towns will also be unable to go out to a restaurant or cafe in the ACT on Friday, as people who live in exempt NSW postcodes will continue to only be allowed to enter the territory for essential reasons until at least the end of the month.
But Mr Barr said the border bubble would be expanded.
"The reasons for travel are not going to change dramatically on Friday," he said.
"The number of postcodes within the Canberra region will increase and that will be the arrangements for the last two weeks of October."
Goulburn mayor Bob Kirk is hopeful the regional city will be included in the expanded bubble. He said its exclusion in the bubble had been very inconvenient for Goulburn residents and had caused delays in getting COVID vaccines.
"Many of our people work [in Canberra], of course. Many of our people are traveling for specialist medical purposes, many of our people go there for shopping needs, educational needs and all those things," Mr Kirk said.
"It's very much the hub of the southeast region. And the fact that we're sort of locked out is just a line on a map, as far as we're concerned, it's just the next town down the road.
"A line on a map doesn't make Goulburn or Canberra people any more of an issue or health issue for one or the other than anywhere else."
"There's been a lot of inconvenience. There was a lot of conjecture in the early stages when people who had appointments to get in there for the second COVID jab weren't able to go and get the second COVID jab. And there wasn't a hub here in Goulburn.
"In terms of the COVID vaccination, it sort of put a dent in proceedings for us."
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Head of Jindabyne Business Chamber Olivier Kapetanakos said the pandemic had proved that Canberrans had played a huge part of the Snowy Mountains tourism economy.
"Because of the high vaccination rates in Canberra, and because Canberra is such an important part to the economic survivability of the snowy mountains, it just makes a lot of sense," he said.
"Medical advice [is] that if you've been double vaccinated, the chances of catching COVID is significantly less. And if you do catch it, it has a lower impact on you. The risk surely can't be high to open the borders up.
"What we have learned out of the pandemic is that Canberra plays a significantly big part through our tourism economy. We always thought it was Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane, but Canberra plays a huge part to us."
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