19 confirmed cases

in the Territory

National advice hotline

For information on coronavirus (COVID-19) call the hotline - open 24 hours, 7 days.


From 11:59pm on Thursday 26 March, remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT) were closed to all non-essential travel in response to concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

People cannot enter 'designated areas' around Australia except in the following circumstances:

  • they have quarantined for 14 days in an excluded area within the NT prior to entering the designated area, or
  • they can demonstrate they are an approved remote essential worker.

There are no restrictions on leaving a designated biosecurity area, however, anyone wishing to re-enter must also quarantine for 14 days in an excluded area within the Northern Territory prior to re-entering or demonstrate they are an approved remote essential worker.

Designated areas

These Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the NT are designated areas:

  • Tiwi Islands
  • West Arnhem
  • East Arnhem including:
    • the Town of Nhulunbuy unincorporated LGAs and
    • the Town of Alyangula unincorporated LGAs
  • West Daly
  • Roper Gulf
  • Victoria Daly (excluding the Pine Creek Ward)
  • Barkly (excluding Tennant Creek)
  • Central Desert
  • MacDonnell.

Maps of designated areas

View the maps of designated biosecurity areas in the NT.


The following are excluded from the designated areas:

  • pastoral properties not subject to exclusive native title
  • the Local Government Areas of:
    • Darwin
    • Palmerston
    • Litchfield
    • Coomalie
    • Wagait
    • Belyuen
    • Katherine
    • Alice Springs.

Remote community residents

Community residents (including those people who are residing in a community because they are an approved remote essential worker) are strongly urged to stay in their community to prevent having to quarantine.

After 11:59 pm Thursday 26 March, community residents who leave their designated area must quarantine in an excluded area for 14 days before returning to their community.

This also applies to residents of the Towns of Nhulunbuy and Alyangula.

Travelling inside designated biosecurity areas

Travel for remote community residents is allowed between communities, homelands/ outstations and any unincorporated townships (Nhulunbuy and Alyangula only) within their biosecurity area.

Community residents are strongly advised, however, not to travel if they do not have to (i.e. except in an emergency or for medical treatment).

People who reside in a remote community because they are an approved essential worker must only travel to and between the remote communities and/ or homelands for which they are approved and have a permit from the relevant land council.

People who live in the towns of Nhulunbuy and Alyangula must not travel to remote communities and homelands within their designated biosecurity area unless they are an approved remote essential worker.

Approved remote essential workers

Exemption applies to those requiring entry to provide an essential activity.

An exemption must be sought and approved prior to travel.

Aboriginal land councils will be involved in the permissions process.

Find out more about the exemption process for approved remote essential workers.

More information

To find out more about travel to a remote community in the NT, call the remote travel hotline on 1800 518 189 or email remote.travel@nt.gov.au.