Statement: ACT Chief Minister


Released 22/03/2020

Following similar announcements from the Premier of Victoria and the Premier of New South Wales, I will also be informing National Cabinet that the ACT will proceed to a more comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services over the next 48 hours. I expect all states and territories will do the same.

I believe this decision is in the best interest of Canberrans, and will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Despite measures in place to discourage social interaction, there are still too many instances where people are exposing themselves to contracting the virus which is leading to an unsustainable increase in confirmed cases across the country.

We must also face the reality that, as a Territory within NSW, it would be impossible for the ACT to have different arrangements than those in our surrounding region.

We will ensure that Canberrans continue to have access to the services they need – supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, pharmacies, post offices and convenience stores. Freight and logistics will also be considered as an essential service. Over the next 48 hours, we will define these essential services and work closely with retailers on their requirements.

As the ACT has maintained, we will be following the recommendations from National Cabinet on the operation of schools. We will be transitioning to an alternate distance education program for most students on Tuesday as well as continuing to provide a face to face education program for those students who need it.

I will be updating the community following National Cabinet this evening on next steps for the ACT.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases


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