A stay-at-home order introduced earlier this week by ACT Health has been expanded to include the whole of Greater Sydney and altered to retroactively apply to residents who have returned to the territory from that region since June 21.
The Greater Sydney region includes the NSW Central Coast, Wollongong, and the Blue Mountains.
The stay-at-home order was first imposed on Wednesday, but only affected metropolitan Sydney.
It will apply from 6:00pm today and last until 11:59pm on July 9, in line with the lockdown announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today for Greater Sydney.
Those affected by the order must complete a declaration form, isolate and only leave their residence for approved essential purposes.
Non-ACT residents from the Greater Sydney region are still not permitted to travel to Canberra unless they have an approved exemption.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said nearly 19,000 people had travelled back to the territory from the Greater Sydney region since the Bondi COVID-19 cluster was first identified by health authorities.
“This is a very concerning time,” Mr Barr said.
“We have movement of tens of thousands of people across the ACT/NSW border.
“If you are currently in the ACT or are a returning ACT resident and have been in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast or Wollongong on or after the 21st of June, you fall under this stay-at-home requirement.”
Mr Barr said the risk to the Canberra community was “significant”.
“We need everyone to use the Check-In CBR app and to behave and recognise the seriousness of the situation.”
He also said there was a “very real possibility” restrictions in the ACT would have to be tightened, as they had in NSW, but that for now they would not take that step.
“If there are cases in the ACT, we will respond and we will respond quickly,” he said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said the rules were enforceable and those found to be in breach of the stay-at-home order could face penalties, including fines of up to $8,000.
She said ACT police would be randomly stopping drivers to ensure individuals were following the rules.
Acting Chief Police Officer Liz McDonald said she expected people to “do the right thing”.
“I have tasked my members to be on the lookout for vehicles from interstate,” she said.
“We will also continue having officers conducting checks of individuals subject to stay-at-home orders.”
Sydney in lockdown as NSW restrictions tightened
The updated order for the ACT comes after the NSW government this afternoon announced a two-week lockdown for Greater Sydney in a bid to contain a growing outbreak of COVID-19.
The state today recorded 12 new locally acquired cases, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents should “brace ourselves” for more cases in the coming days.
Ms Berejiklian said there was “no point” only locking down for a few days as it would not allow contact tracers to stay ahead of the virus.
“The best health advice today is that it should be for two weeks, but if there is any massive improvement ahead of that time, of course, we’ll evaluate that,” she said.