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The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) released a press note during early Wednesday to convey cautious step in easing of the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. The updates cites the latest surge in the cases from Melbourne and Victoria for the change in outlook.

Key quotes

Following the introduction of border restrictions for people entering the ACT from Victoria and the metropolitan Melbourne lockdown, the health advice remains that the ACT can proceed with some minor changes outlined in stage three of the ACT’s Easing of Restrictions roadmap from midday on Friday 10 July.

The unfolding situation in Victoria is a significant concern, and that’s why the ACT is taking a cautious approach with further easing of restrictions. The ACT will not be implementing a 1 person per 2 square metres rule at this time given the heightened COVID risk.

The ACT Government has, throughout this pandemic, followed the advice from our public health experts. These are challenging circumstances, and while the recovery of our local economy is critically important, now is not the time to be putting all the hard work of the Canberra community at risk by moving too quickly.

ACT will introduce new capacity limits to provide some flexibility for smaller venues. Venues will be able to cater for 25 patrons, or 1 person per four square metres of usable space (whichever is greater). This should be considered as the new guidance across all industries in the ACT.

As previously outlined, the ACT will move to a 25% capacity at sporting and entertainment venues in the ACT following a successful trial of spectators at GIO Stadium last weekend. Large events (indoor or outdoor) which are not ticketed or seated will remain closed.

Canberra Casino, gaming and gambling venues will be able to reopen, with increased cleaning of high touch areas.

FX implications

The news portrays the Aussie government’s additional move to tame the pandemic’s resurgence after recalling the lockdown in Melbourne and cutting down the entries into the ACT from Victoria and Melbourne. Following the announcement, AUD/USD extends the weakness from 0.6947 towards the intraday low around 0.6930.