Current Restrictions for ACT

Current Restrictions in ACT

Last updated: 27 June 2022

From 11:59pm on 13 May 2022, the use of Check In CBR will no longer be mandatory in the ACT. However, the Check In CBR app is being upgraded to include a new health screening tool for voluntary use by high-risk facilities, and a direct link to the online form to record positive RAT results.

The new health screening tool will be available for use from 20 May 2022. Any organisation wishing to use this tool will need to apply for a new QR code that will automatically launch the new screening function when someone checks in using the app.

 

From 11.59pm on 13 May workers in ACT healthcare and education settings will no longer be subject to the current requirement to have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Employers in these settings will be able to implement their own COVID-19 vaccination policies, in the same way many workplaces have vaccine policies in place.

Consistent with national advice, vaccination requirements for workers in aged and disability care settings will remain in place as the risk of outbreaks and severe illness among the people they care for is still high.

 

Previously, Mandatory face mask requirements eased from 6:00pm on Friday (25 February 2022):

it will only be mandatory to wear a face mask if you’re:

  • On public transport, including buses, light rail, taxis, rideshare and demand response vehicles. Drivers of these vehicles must wear a mask when transporting passengers
  • An employee or visitor in a high-risk setting, including hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional facilities or residential accommodation facilities
  • A worker who provides services to a person with a disability
  • A worker for in-home and community aged care providers
  • A staff member or visitor in all indoor spaces at a school or early childhood education and care setting. Students in years 7 to 12 are also required to wear a face mask while in an indoor space at school
  • Inside the Canberra Airport terminal or on a domestic flight in or out of Canberra Airport.

In addition, from 11:59pm on Friday, anyone who tests positive to a rapid antigen test (RAT) must report their result to ACT Health via the online form at covid19.act.gov.au. They must also isolate for seven days, in the same way as those who test positive to a PCR test.

Anyone who tests positive, either by PCR test or RAT, will now also be encouraged to take reasonable steps to notify any potential high risk or moderate risk contacts.

“Canberrans are encouraged to continue wearing a face mask in public indoor settings, particularly where it may be difficult to maintain appropriate physical distancing.

“Workplaces should consider what mask wearing policies they should implement, both for employees and any clients or visitors that may visit their premises.

“This is particularly important for businesses that employ staff with customer-facing roles, and especially for those who are likely to be interacting with vulnerable community members. Information to assist businesses, venues and organisations in developing and updating COVID Safety Plans can be found on the Business Hub.”

Canberrans are asked to update their app to ensure the new functionality is activated.

Archive of Previous Updates

From 6:00pm Friday 18 February:

  • All density limits that currently apply to restricted businesses and activities will be removed, and there will no longer be a requirement for businesses to display signage for capacity limits.
  • Ticketing and preregistration requirements for events will be removed.
  • Employees can return to the workplace where it suits them and their employer.

From 11.59pm Friday 25 February:

  • There will be changes to the current requirements to wear a face mask in indoor spaces, with further details to be announced next week.

 

Previously, from 11.59pm on Friday 11 February 2022, Check In CBR will no longer be required at Pilates studios, gyms, and indoor fitness facilities.

 

Previously, summary of Restrictions from 12 noon Saturday 8 January 2022

  • From 30 December 2021: Canberrans are encouraged to work from home where it suits the employee and the employer to do so. It is recognised that many employees may need to return to the workplace to meet business needs or for their own wellbeing, however working from home wherever possible will help to reduce transmission.
  • COVID-19 Safety Plans must be prepared by certain businesses and able to be produced if requested by an authorised officer.
  • Venues and events must continue to use the Check in CBR app, including the building and construction sector.

Face Masks

  • Any person aged 12 years or older must wear a face mask in indoor settings (other than a place of residence).
  • A person is not required to wear a face mask if they have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask detrimental to their condition.
  • For more information see Face masks requirements.

Gyms, Health Clubs, Fitness Centres or Wellness Centres, Personal Training and Bootcamps

  • 25 people across the venue before density limits apply (exc staff).
  • If businesses wish to have more than 25 people, they can apply:
    • One person per two square metres per usable indoor space (exc staff).
    • No density limits apply to outdoor spaces.
  • Venues to display a sign at the entrance of each space specifying occupancy limit for any indoor spaces.
  • Class sizes limited by density restrictions.

 

Previously, summary of restrictions from 12 November

Gyms, Health Clubs, Fitness Centres or Wellness Centres, Personal Training and Bootcamps

  • 25 people across the venue before density limits apply (exc staff).
  • If businesses wish to have more than 25 people, they can apply:
    • One person per two square metres per usable indoor space (exc staff).
    • No density limits apply to outdoor spaces.
  • Venues to display a sign at the entrance of each space specifying occupancy limit for any indoor spaces.
  • Class sizes limited by density restrictions.
  • All persons aged 16 years and over must continue to check in Check In CBR app, regardless of how long you intend to remain.
    • Paper records are not permitted to be used to collect patron details. Businesses are required to use the Business Profile function of the App going forward.
  • proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required in the ACT.

 

Previously, Current restrictions for Gyms, Health Clubs, Fitness Centres or Wellness Centres, Personal Training and Bootcamps

  • 25 patrons across the venue or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser (exc staff).
  • Indoor classes and circuit sessions not permitted.
  • Supervised weight training or use of other gym equipment.
  • Equipment to be cleaned after each individual use.
  • Outdoor bootcamps and personal training can take place within gathering limits.
  • Change rooms to remain closed.

 

Announced 27 September 2021 – The Pathway Forward

Subject to the public health risk remaining relatively stable in the next two weeks, the ACT’s lockdown will end at 11:59pm on Thursday 14 October, triggering a transition to medium level public health measures.

From the 15 October, Gyms will be able to reopen with strict COVIDSafe requirements with a maximum of 25 people at 1 per 4 sqm.

 

The following changes come into effect from 12.01am this Friday (1 October).

Fitness, Sport and Outdoor physical recreation and campgrounds

  • The recommencement of outdoor bootcamps and personal training, with no more than two people, excluding instructors.
  • The recommencement of outdoor and contactless coaching activities with no more than two people, excluding the coach.

Tues 14 September: ACT lockdown extended until midnight Friday 15 October 2021

From 5:00pm Thursday 2 September – ACT lockdown extended until midnight Friday 17 September 2021

Gyms, Health Clubs, Fitness Centres or Wellness Centres:

  • Closed.
  • May permit no more than two people at any one time who work at the non-essential business, activity or undertaking to attend the premises for the purposes of filming, live streaming, or broadcasting to patrons.

Previously, from 5.00pm today Thursday 12 August, until 5.00pm Thursday 19 August 2021 the ACT will enter a 7 day lockdown.

People in the ACT can only leave their home for the following essential reasons:
  • To shop for essentials like groceries and medicine and supplies that are essential for personal needs or for vulnerable people
  • To obtain essential health care, including to undertake a COVID-19 test or receive a scheduled COVID-19 vaccination
  • To exercise outdoors for to exercise outdoors for two hours per day in your region
  • To provide essential caregiving services
  • To undertake essential work
Where possible, people should undertake these essential activities within their local region.

From midnight Sunday 27th June 2021, face masks are will be required in certain public settings within the ACT.

You must wear a fitted face covering at all times when in business premises that provide goods or services to members of the public who attend the premises (e.g. Pilates).

Clients visiting must keep their mask on when entering the facility, waiting for classes and in other common areas. They can remove it to do their workout and put it back on afterwards.

 

Checked 22 Feb 2021 – correct for the latest easing of restrictions under Canberra’s Recovery Plan: Easing of Restrictions.

This information covers gyms, health clubs, fitness or wellness centres, yoga, barre, pilates, spin facilities, boot camps and personal training. A venue includes any outdoors place where training takes place.

For more information:
https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-and-work/gyms,-bootcamps-and-personal-training

  • Each venue can have 25 people across the entire venue.
  • If a venue wants to have more than 25 people, it can have one person per two square metres of usable space in each indoor and outdoor space.
  • Businesses and venues must be registered for and using the Check In CBR app. If clients don’t have the Check In CBR app, use the business profile mode to check them in.
    • Businesses and venues must take all reasonable steps to require patrons to check in before entering the premises.
    • All patrons 16 years and older must check in. Children less than 16 years old attending with their family don’t need to check in, but parents and caregivers should be encouraged to check them in.
    • If patrons don’t have the app, they must provide their details to the venue so they can check the patron in.
  • There is no capacity limit for each space.

Notes on options above

  • This capacity excludes staff and other personnel.
  • Do not exceed the capacity limit that applies under standard liquor or fire occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue.
  • Usable space is defined as the space people can freely move around in. It does not include:
    • restrooms, changerooms and similar areas
    • areas occupied by fixtures, fittings, and displays
    • stages and similar areas
    • staff-only areas and areas that are closed off or not being used.
  • An indoor space means an area, room or premises that is, or are, substantially enclosed by a roof and have floor to ceiling walls of solid construction.

What Businesses Need to Do:

  • Have a COVID Safety Plan
  • Register for and use the Check In CBR app
    • Businesses and venues must be registered for and using the Check In CBR app
    • Businesses and venues must take all reasonable steps to require patrons to check in before entering the premises.
    • All patrons 16 years and older must check in. Children less than 16 years old attending with their family don’t need to check in, but parents and caregivers should be encouraged to check them in.
    • If patrons don’t have the app, they must provide their details to the venue so they can check the patron in.
    • For more information, visit the Check In CBR information for businesses page.
  • Put up signs
    • Display a sign at the entrance saying how many people can be on the premises.
    • Place signs at the entry to each usable space saying how many people can be in that space, including changerooms in gym facilities.
    • Display messaging for patrons to stay home if unwell.
    • Find the signage that best suits your venue/event at our Business resources page.
  • Manage the crowd
    • Manage the flow of people to promote physical distancing, particularly where people enter and leave the facility.
    • Encourage patrons to keep 1.5 metres away from other people/groups they do not know.
    • Encourage patrons to leave the facility quickly after their training finishes.
    • Discourage gatherings in communal spaces.
  • Keep activities COVID safe
    • Space fitness equipment 1.5 metres apart. If this is not possible, disable machines less than 1.5 metres apart.
    • Limit sharing of equipment within sessions or classes. Clean any shared equipment during the session.
    • Avoid using equipment that is difficult to clean, such as ropes, in favour of easily cleaned equipment, such as kettlebells.
    • Clean shared equipment between each use. Staff or patrons can clean the equipment.
    • During unstaffed hours implement a formalised process to clean shared equipment. Document this process in the COVID Safety Plan and display it clearly throughout the facility.
    • Open communal facilities (such as changerooms) after doing a risk assessment and implementing a strict cleaning regimen. Document this in the COVID safety plan.
  • Keep COVID safe
    • Follow your COVID Safety Plan.
    • Clean high-touch areas and objects frequently. Download the WorkSafe cleaning checklist for more information.
    • Encourage physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and groups that don’t know each other.
    • Ask staff and patrons to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.

 

Previously:

09 October 2020

The ACT has moved to Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan, as of 9am Friday 9 October.

This move has enacted a number of changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT. These are:

  • Outdoor spaces can now support a density of one person per two square metres (indoor spaces remain at one per four square metres).
  • All gatherings can increase to 200 people, where one person per four square metres of usable space can be maintained in indoor spaces, and one person per two square metres of usable space in outdoor spaces.
  • Medium-sized hospitality venues with total usable space between 101 and 200 square metres can have 50 people throughout the venue (excluding staff). If they wish to have more than 50 people they can calculate their capacity based on the one per four square metres of usable indoor space and one per two square metres of outdoor space rule.

These settings will be in place for four weeks while the Chief Health Officer assesses their impact on the ACT’s COVID-19 situation. The next COVID Safe Checkpoint will be conducted on 6 November 2020.

The changes coming into effect with Step 3.2 are underpinned by the following public health principles:

  • There is considerable evidence that outdoor spaces present a lower risk of transmission of COVID-19 compared to indoor spaces.
  • Seated and ticketed events, where movement and face to face interactions are limited, can support increased gathering numbers.
  • A continuing increase in uptake by business and undertakings of electronic recording of contact details to better assist in contact tracing.
  • Businesses, venues, facilities, and events having well established COVID Safety Plans in place, which address how they manage physical distancing, crowd control, cleaning and hygiene requirements.

We are now strongly recommending that businesses, venues and facilities that are required to ask for customer details for contact tracing purposes use an electronic method to collect this information. The free Check In CBR app is available to fulfil this requirement.

 

From 9am on Friday 18 September 2020:

  • All venues, facilities and businesses can have a maximum of 25 people (excluding staff) across the whole venue regardless of their size. Venues must still abide by their standard occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue. Find out more in the How to manage patron numbers under 25 person rule fact sheet.
  • Venues or businesses that want to have more than 25 people in their venue must apply the ‘one person per 4 square metres of usable space’ rule.  The maximum number of patrons permitted is 100 for each indoor space and each outdoor space.  No modifications can be made to venues.
  • Steam-based services such as saunas and steam rooms can continue to be able to open.
  • 24-hour gym facilities, can continue to operate without staff.  When unstaffed, a maximum of 25 people are permitted to be in the facility at any one time.
  • Communal facilities (such as changerooms) can remain open if a risk assessment has been done and a strict cleaning regime is put in place. This should be outlined in the COVID Safety Plan.

What can’t I do?

  • Gatherings in communal areas are discouraged.
  • A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business or undertaking under the Public Health Direction must not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.

What are my responsibilities?

  • Facilities must have a COVID Safety Plan.
  • Facilities must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to the venue.  Gyms that provide unstaffed services must display two occupancy signs.  One during staffed hours, and then a sign advising occupancy is a maximum of 25 patrons during unstaffed periods.
  • Venues are required to ask all patrons for their first name and phone number and record it along with the date and time they attended the venue. Details should be securely destroyed after 28 days. Consider using the free Check In CBR app for a safe and easy way to capture these details.
  • Facilities should carefully manage the entry, exit and flow of visitors through their premises.
  • Patrons should be encouraged to leave the facility quickly following their training session.
  • Facilities should increase the cleaning frequency of high touch areas and restrooms.
  • Limit sharing of equipment within sessions or classes.
  • Put a process in place to ensure that shared equipment is appropriately cleaned between each use. Cleaning can be done by staff or by patrons.
  • Facilities need to have a formalised process in place to ensure shared equipment is appropriated cleaned during unstaffed hours.  This should be documented in the COVID Safety Plan, and clearly displayed throughout the facility.
  • Ensure fitness equipment is spaced 1.5 metres apart. If this is not possible, disable machines less than 1.5 metres apart.

What are the community responsibilities?

  • The public should continue to abide by the “get in, train, get out” principle and not gather in communal areas before or after training.
  • Reduce contact with other people, particularly if you are in a class and try to main physical distancing of 1.5 metres from other people.
  • Ensure equipment is properly cleaned before and after each use.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing.
  • Stay home if unwell.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Download the Check In CBR app and sign into participating Canberra venues you visit.

 

Monday 10 August 2020 Stage 3, Step 3.1 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan includes some minor changes to the last update (19 June 2020)

  • Communal facilities (such as changerooms) can open if a risk assessment has been done and a strict cleaning regime is put in place. This should be outlined in the COVID Safety Plan.
  • Canteens can operate, however, physical distancing must be encouraged.

What can’t I do?

  • Do not allow gatherings to take place in communal areas.
  • A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business or undertaking under the Public Health Direction must not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.

What are my responsibilities?

  • Facilities must have a COVID Safety Plan.
  • Facilities must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to the venue .  Gyms who provide unstaffed services must display two occupancy signs.  One during staffed hours, and then a sign advising occupancy is a maximum of 25 patrons during unstaffed periods.
  • Facilities are required to ask all patrons for their first name and phone number and record it along with the date and time they attended the venue. Details can be securely destroyed after 28 days.
  • Facilities should carefully manage the entry, exit and flow of visitors through their premises.
  • Patrons should be encouraged to leave the facility quickly following their training session.
  • Facilities should increase the cleaning frequency of high touch areas and restrooms.
  • Limit sharing of equipment within sessions or classes.
  • Put a process in place to ensure that shared equipment is appropriately cleaned between each use. Cleaning can be done by staff or by patrons.
  • Facilities need to have a formalised process in place to ensure shared equipment is appropriated cleaned during unstaffed hours.  This should be documented in the COVID Safety Plan, and clearly displayed throughout the facility.
  • Ensure fitness equipment is spaced 1.5 metres apart. If this is not possible, disable machines less than 1.5 metres apart.

Stage 2 began at 11:59pm on May 29.

Maintain:

All operating businesses must have a COVID Safety Plan.

Businesses may be asked to produce their COVID Safety plan on request by an authorised officer.

Gyms and bootcamp operators are required to ask for a first name and contact phone number of all individuals in attendance.

If the individual provides the details, you must keep a record of the details along with a date and time at which the person attended, to assist with contract tracing efforts, if required.

For more information about this, download the factsheet about collecting and storing customer information.

There will be a 20 patron per enclosed space (excluding instructors and staff) limit, noting that the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.

This means that in some enclosed spaces, fewer than 20 patrons will be allowed.

Staff need to manage ingress and egress.

This means ensuring that proprietors and employees manage the flow of people in and out of the venue, with a particular focus on ensuring people do not gather or mill at entries and exits, and that people can remain sufficiently far apart from one another when entering and exiting the venue.

The following further specifications apply:

  • one-on-one personal training is permitted, with equipment to be cleaned during and after use
  • small group supervised sessions/classes with individual equipment are permitted
  • circuit sessions are not permitted given they involve sharing of equipment
  • there should be no unsupervised cardio or free weight training or use of other fitness equipment
  • physical distancing requirements must be maintained (keeping 1.5m apart)
  • communal facilities, such as changerooms and showers, are to remain closed with the exception of toilets only. Where toilets, showers and changerooms are co-located, showers and changerooms should be cordoned off or locked if possible, with clear signage advising patrons of their closure required at a minimum.

Case study: How restrictions apply to licenced gyms