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ACT’s roadmap out of lockdown; Students set to return to school in Term Four.

It's a bittersweet day for the ACT as Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced Canberra's pathway forward with the end of lockdown set for October 15. The slight easing of public health safety measures will commence from October 1 and the gradual return to school, beginning with year 12 students from Term Four.

Sadly though, Mr Barr revealed that a man in his 90's with COVID-19 has passed away. The death is the first from the territory's current outbreak, bringing the total number of fatalities to four since the start of the pandemic.

Key Points:

  • Australian Capital Territory is set to end lockdown on October 15, with a gradual easing of restrictions from October 1.

  • The ACT Education Directorate has confirmed all students will return to face-to-face learning in Term 4, using a staggered approach, complying with ACT Health advice.

  • Canberra records 19 new cases and the first COVID-19 related death of 2021.

Today Mr Barr revealed that ACT's release from lockdown is set to end on Thursday, October 14 at 11:59 pm, subject to the public health risk remaining relatively stable in the coming weeks.

"The ability to move out of lockdown and through the phases of the national plan will be a welcome relief to all Canberrans," Mr Barr said.

The territories release from lockdown will allow five people to visit another household at any one time, and 25 people can gather outdoors from October 15. In addition, cafes, restaurants, licenced venues, gyms, hairdressers, beauty, and personal services will reopen under strict density limits.

With the shift of ACT public health measures, from high to medium, all Canberra students will gradually return to face-to-face learning from the beginning of Term 4.

From Tuesday, October 5, week 1 of Term 4, Year 12 students will return to on-campus learning, followed by year 11 students from week three.

Students in preschool, kindergarten, years one, two, six, nine and ten will commence face-to-face learning from week four, ahead of years three, four, five, seven and eight, who will return to on-campus learning in week five, Monday, November 1.

Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry addressed the territory, confirming the gradual return of students to on-campus learning aligns with the ACT's COVID-19 pathway forward, including vaccination rates and the easing of restrictions.

Ms Berry assured the public that they are vigilantly following the advice from the Chief Health Officer to ensure the safest transition to face-to-face learning.

"Feedback from principals, teachers, students and families have said they want to go back to school, but they want it to be safe,” Ms Berry said.

“Health and safety measures will be put in place for all schools to reduce COVID-19 transmission.”

ACT Department of Education believes the return to school systemisation in conjunction with strict health safety measures will minimise the spread of COVID-19. They will also continue to encourage the vaccination of all those eligible across all Canberra schools.

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