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The ACT Chief Health Officer has issued Public Health (Lockdown Restrictions) Emergency Direction 2021 (No 1) (the ‘Direction’) which came into effect at 5pm on Thursday 12 August 2021. The lockdown is in place until 2 September 2021. See the ACT COVID-19 Health page here.

Construction and maintenance are NOT considered essential business or activities and will therefore be required to stop under this Direction. Outlined below is further guidance to the ACT building and construction sector on the effect of the Direction.

Construction Projects

Construction projects are expected to stop during the ‘lock-down.’

  • A very limited number of ACT Government projects relating to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 response may continue, subject to restrictions.
  • There may be a very limited number of other works which may be necessary for emergency services.


Construction sites must be made safe and secure during the lock-down.

It is acknowledged that ‘make-safe’ activities may need to occur. Only works necessary to shut down and make safe a site should occur in this period. This may include, for example:

  • Works to ensure emergency access to property is possible. For example, completing a driveway to enable emergency access to a private residence; or
  • Concrete stressing works following concrete poured immediately prior to the lock-down, if failure to do so will cause other safety and structural integrity issues.

In making a site safe, attention should be made to:

  • Ensuring site fencing is appropriate and secure;
  • Ensuring materials cannot blow off the site or otherwise be improperly accessed;
  • Ensuring works or materials that need to be safely propped are done so;
  • Ensuring ‘fall from height’ and trenching risks are appropriately made secure;
  • Ensuring any other site-specific hazards are addressed;
  • Ensuring the risk of environmental spills is addressed;
  • Covering, protecting or moving materials which, if exposed to the elements, would be unsafe;
  • Ensure regulatory signage is installed and visible. This should include contact details for the site; and
  • Ensuring all other actions normally undertaken to secure a site during a shutdown (such as during the Christmas shutdown) are undertaken.

It is acknowledged that minimal site attendance will be required during the lockdown to ensure the closed site remains safe and secure.

Freight and deliveries 

Although transport, freight and logistics are essential services, deliveries should not occur at construction sites which are otherwise shut down.

Cross-border movement of construction workers 

All of NSW is now deemed a COVID-affected area.

For NSW residents who work on ACT construction projects
If you live in one of the following postcode areas (Click here to view postcodes), you can only enter the ACT for essential work (or healthcare reasons) as defined by the ACT Government.

For ACT residents who work on NSW construction projects 
Generally, ACT residents who work on NSW construction, repair or maintenance projects are required to undertake 14 days quarantine upon return to the ACT. The only exception to this quarantine requirement is where:

  • The ACT resident is working on a construction site within one of the postcode areas listed above; AND
  • Where the NSW construction, repair or maintenance activities are for essential infrastructure and essential services required to maintain or protect the safety, health or welfare of the community or a section of the community (whether provided by a public or private undertaking).

If a construction activity is permitted in NSW, this does not by itself mean it is an essential construction activity for which ACT residents are allowed to travel. It is the ACT Government assessment of “essential” which applies, even if a project is in NSW.


The businesses outlined below can remain open.

  • a supermarket, grocery store, bakery, butcher, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger
  • an indoor or outdoor market, but only to obtain groceries or fresh food
  • a bottleshop
  • a bank or financial institution
  • a post office
  • a newsagent
  • a pharmacy
  • a petrol station (including a petrol station that sells groceries)
  • vehicle and mechanical repair services
  • hardware, building supplies
  • agricultural and rural supplies
  • laundry and dry cleaners
  • a pet store
  • a locksmith
  • a business that provides essential office supplies

Garden Maintenance

No Garden Maintenance can occur during lockdown. Only essential services, including urgent repair and maintenance services, for example plumbing, electrical and heating repair, can occur.

Government Financial Support

The Australian Government has announced support for people affected by the latest Lockdown in the Australian Capital Territory.  Claims will open 20 August 2021. More information can be found here.

Contact the Team

We realise the impact this lockdown will have on many members. Contact the team at TLA with any questions on (02) 9630 4844 or email


Photo from TLA Member Manuka Gardens


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