ACT extends lockdown after 13 new virus cases

The Australian Capital Territory has reported 13 new local COVID-19 cases and extended its lockdown by two further weeks.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the lockdown – initially planned to finish on Thursday – is proving to be "very effective" but needs to continue to curb the pandemic.

The territory's lockdown has been extended until midnight, Friday September 17, with some easing of restrictions, including doubling the outdoor exercise and recreation time to two hours per day.

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Online learning will continue for the rest of term three, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

Plans for term four will be determined in the coming weeks.

The partial reopening of the construction sector across the ACT will proceed as planned this Friday under "stringent COVIDSafe requirements".

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says talks are underway to include the residential sector from September 10 "subject to the public health situation not deteriorating between now and then".

Business support grants have also been expanded.

"We're able to announce that one-off grants will be significantly increased to a maximum of $20,000 for employing businesses and $7,500 for non-employing businesses eligible under the scheme," Mr Barr said.

The first payments would be made in the coming days.

"Beyond financial support, we are also developing COVID-safe plans to allow more retail businesses to operate under a click-and-collect model during this extended lockdown period. There will be more information on this in the coming week."

Seven of the new cases are linked and six are under further investigation.

Mr Barr says while the curve is down, it is "a slow process and it will take more time".

There are still unlinked cases in the community.

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