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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2166 ..

Since my last update to the Assembly, the ACT government has implemented two new public health restrictions in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country and the risks associated with more infectious strains of coronavirus, including the delta variant.

Following the implementation of stay-at-home orders across the greater Sydney region and tighter public health restrictions for regional New South Wales, the Chief Health Officer advised the ACT government of the need to mandate the use of face masks in indoor settings in the ACT where physical distancing was difficult or not possible.

This resulted in a new public health direction coming into effect from midnight on 28 June 2021, requiring anyone 12 years of age or over to wear a face mask in indoor settings, including supermarkets, shopping centres, retail, hospitality venues, public transport, taxi and rideshare services, hairdressers and personal services, gyms and high-risk settings such as health and aged care facilities.

Although this was the first time throughout the pandemic that Canberrans were required to wear masks, our community wholeheartedly embraced this important public health measure.

With the COVID-19 situation in regional New South Wales stabilising and no cases identified in the ACT, the ACT government was able to lift the mask requirement from 11.59 pm on 9 July. The government is still encouraging Canberrans to wear face masks when they are in indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible, such as public transport or crowded indoor venues, to help protect our community as we continue to respond to the risk of COVID-19.

The use of the Check In CBR app became mandatory for all retail settings, public transport and taxi and rideshare services from 15 July, in addition to restricted businesses and venues. In addition, the 15-minute period when check-in was not required upon entry to a business or venue has been removed. This means all patrons must check in when entering a premise with Check In CBR, regardless of how long they are planning to spend in the venue.

As of 31 July, more than 17,000 venues had registered with Check In CBR, more than 30 million check-ins had been recorded, and the app had been downloaded 912,000 times. We have seen the benefits of the widespread use of contact tracing apps in responding to outbreaks, and these new changes to Check In CBR will enable ACT Health’s contact tracing teams to respond even more quickly and effectively if a case is identified in the ACT.

The ACT continues to support the return of government officials, diplomats and their families, with a total of 2,300 individuals completing quarantine at home or in managed quarantine facilities as at 29 July.

In preparation for this week’s federal parliamentary sitting, ACT Health has worked closely with the Australian government Department of Health and the parliamentary

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