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ACT further relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

Major COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted across the ACT, as the territory prepares for the resumption of further cross-border travel next week.

From Friday, masks will no longer be required to be worn outdoors, while the number of people that can gather at a home will double from five to 10.

Outdoor gatherings can now have up to 30 people.

The eased restrictions, which kicked in from midnight, also allowed for density limits to increase for pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Many places that have been closed to the public since the start of the Canberra lockdown in August will also be allowed to reopen to the public.

Among them are cinemas, performance venues, food courts, dance classes, entertainment venues and attractions such as museums, galleries and zoos.

Hairdressers and beauty services, churches, community centres, gyms, swimming pools and casinos will also be allowed to let in more people, subject to density limits.

It comes ahead of the resumption of travel to all of NSW and Victoria on November 1.

The move is in line with NSW relaxing travel restrictions to regional areas on that day for Sydney residents.

Previously, Canberra could only travel to approved postcodes in NSW and were barred from visiting Victoria.

November 1 will also mark the return of all students to ACT schools.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr flagged further changes, earmarked for the end of November, could be brought forward to the middle of next month, as the territory’s vaccine rate continues to lead the country.

The latest figures showed 91.4 per cent of Canberrans aged 12 and over were fully vaccinated.

There were a further eight cases of COVID reported in Canberra on Thursday, the lowest daily case number in more than a month.

There are 10 COVID patients in ACT hospitals, seven of them in intensive care and five on a ventilator.

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