Public Health Directions

Mon 3 Aug 2020

Public Health Directions

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has been clear that wearing masks is the fourth line of defence after social distancing, hand hygiene and staying home if you are sick. The ACT endorses this position from the NSW Chief Health Officer.

Canberra is not an area of high community transmission and, therefore, the wearing of face masks is not currently a mandatory requirement.

However, a situation may arise in the future where that changes. If new cases occur in areas immediately surrounding the ACT, or there start to be new cases in Canberra, then wearing a face mask in public will feature as part of our response.

Just like NSW, mask wearing would be the fourth line of defence in Canberra. It would be in addition to physical distancing, hand hygiene and staying home if you are unwell.

ACT residents, particularly those unable to physically distance in their daily work or daily activities, are now encouraged to prepare for a time where wearing a face masks becomes another part of how we respond to the threat of COVID-19.

ACT residents are strongly advised not to travel to Greater Sydney at this time. Travel to Greater Sydney should only be done for absolutely essential reasons.

Regarding regional NSW, it is advised that Canberrans be aware of the COVID-19 situation in the area you are travelling and reassess your need to travel to areas with known cases.

The ACT Government is also reminding Canberrans to exercise caution when travelling, regardless of location. While travelling, it is your responsibility to maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene, as well as to adhere to the rules of the jurisdiction you are travelling to.

If you have visited locations identified by NSW Health as having cases of COVID-19, please follow the advice being provided by the New South Wales authorities. The situation in NSW is rapidly evolving, so keep up to date with the latest NSW Health Advice.


The ACT Government would also like to remind Canberrans that the existing advice regarding Victoria remains in place – if you have been to Victoria within the past 14 days you must notify ACT Health before returning to the ACT. For more information on the legal requirements for quarantine and for information for travellers entering the ACT please visit


General information

Again it has been asked that Canberrans remember four requirements in the coming weeks:

  1. Avoid large crowds;
  2. Keep 1.5 metres apart whenever possible;
  3. Continue good hand and respiratory hygiene; and
  4. Stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit

The ACT Government also has a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is (02) 6207 7244 and is available between 8am and 8pm daily.