The Northern Territory’s tight border control restrictions may be in place for the next 12 months and possibly for years after that.
This has been predicted by the Territory’s Health Minister, Natasha Fyles, who said the government’s planning was for the virus, or the risk of the virus, to last for another year at least and perhaps well beyond that.
More designated hotspots may still be added
She also flagged the possibility of new designated hotspots being added to the list. These would be in addition to the decision on Friday night to add the Queensland locations of Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan to the NT’s declared coronavirus hotspots.
“While the numbers in Brisbane are still low, the Chief Health Officer has considered the data and advised that the risk of spread in these areas is unacceptably high,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
“These areas are a threat to the Territory, so our borders will close to them.”
Hotspot arrivals in quarantine for two weeks
The current hotspot list includes all of Victoria, Greater Sydney, Eurobodalla Shire in NSW, and Port Stephens, also in NSW.
At present anyone entering the NT from those places is required to be in supervised quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
This is for the individual’s personal account and amounts to $2 500 per person.
NT’s borders remain open to arrivals from all other states and areas that are not designated as hotspots.
Nearly 19 000 arrivals since border opened
Fyles said that since the decision to reopen the Northern Territory’s borders a few weeks ago there had been just under 19 000 arrivals in the Territory from elsewhere in Australia. This equated to an average of nearly 1 360 people per day.
She added that approximately 500 people were in mandatory quarantine in the NT. Four hundred were near Darwin and a further 100 in Alice Springs.
The Northern Territory has recorded 33 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.
“We still have one diagnosed case in the Northern Territory, and that person remains in the care of the Top End Health Service and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Fyles said.