Canberra no longer a Covid-19 hotspot as ACT reaches 80 per cent jab target

Helena BurkeNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Another Australian jurisdiction has officially reached the 80 per cent double-dosed threshold, making it the second place to hit the important jab target after NSW.

Eighty point six per cent of the ACT’s population aged over 16 has now received two does of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Federal Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly confirmed on Monday that Canberra would not longer be considered a Covid-19 hotspot now the 80 per cent target had been reached.

“The Commonwealth hotspot declaration in the ACT will cease at 11.59pm on 18 October 2021,” a statement from the federal Health Department said.

“Under the National Plan agreed to by all First Ministers, the Commonwealth’s hotspot declaration automatically ceases within a particular state or territory once the 80 per cent fully vaccinated rate has been reached within that jurisdiction.”

Hotspot-dependent support from the federal government for Canberrans will ceases on November 2 as per government policy.

The 80 per cent target marked a significant easing of public health restrictions in NSW.

From Monday, 20 visitors are allowed in homes and groups of 50 can gather outside in the state.

Masks are no longer mandatory in offices or outdoor settings in NSW, community sport can resume, and nightclubs can reopen with seated drinking.

But the ACT’s reopening plan has looked quite different to its neighbouring state.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has chosen to count his jurisdictions vaccination rate according to the coverage of the over 12 population, while the rest of the nation bases theirs numbers on over 16s.

Despite this, the ACT is still expected to reach the 80 per cent target for both age cut-offs on Tuesday with 79.5 per cent of Canberrans aged over 12 receiving both doses of the vaccine on Monday.

It is not clear whether reaching the 80 per cent target will significantly change the ACT’s reopening plan.

The Chief Minister is expected to make an announcement at 11:45am on Tuesday.

Originally published as Canberra no longer a Covid-19 hotspot as ACT reaches 80 per cent jab target

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