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Roadmap to the new normal

A three step roadmap has been planned to take the Northern Territory (NT) to the new normal.

These steps are possible because of the NT record to date of zero community transmissions and closed borders.

Steps are derived from the best available evidence and advice, applied in the context of the NT. Each step will be based on a set of principles.

Each stage identifies which restrictions may be eased to commence the new normal.

Information for all businesses and community organisations

Any business or organisation that continued to operate during the period of restrictions and all businesses previously restricted must complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist by 5 June.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • government departments
  • trades
  • hairdressers
  • supermarkets
  • allied health services.

If there is community transmission, the Northern Territory Government will seek expert health advice and put in place actions as per the Chief Health Officer Directions.

The three stage roadmap

  • Stage 1 occurred on Friday 1 May 2020.

    The changes related to exercising outdoors with limited contact; access to many NT Parks and Reserves; outdoor activities including religious gatherings, fishing and public swimming pools; real estate open homes and auctions; and visitors to private homes.

    Some restrictions still apply in some national parks and  a restricted area biosecurity zone still apply.

    Plan ahead and check what parks are open and the activities you can do there, including camping and swimming:  Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture website.
    For information on national parks managed by Parks Australia, including Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, go to the Australian Government's Parks Australia website.

  • Stage two commenced at noon 15 May 2020.

    Activities included in step two should be undertaken in less than two hours.

    In stage two you can:

    • Serve and consume food or beverages in a shopping centre food court.
    • Operate and attend restaurants, cafes.
    • Operate and attend a bar, sports or RSL club (alcohol allowed with the consumption of food), excluding gaming activities.
    • Participate in organised training activities for sporting clubs and teams.
    • Operate or attend an indoor market.
    • Operate or attend a beauty therapy salon for (non facial) services, such as nails, massage and tanning.
    • Operate or attend a studio that provides yoga, Pilates, Zumba, barre, dance classes.
    • Operate or attend physical training activities indoors such as Cross Fit.
    • Operate and attend a gymnasium.
    • Visit a public library or a toy library, or indoor playground.
    • Operate and attend a place used for religious worship.
    • Attend an art gallery, museum, public memorial, public historic site, zoo or wildlife facility. For more info, including frequently asked questions relating to the arts sector, screen industry and Museums and galleries go to the Department of Tourism, Sort and Culture website.
    • Territorians can enjoy our outdoor lifestyle in Parks and Reserves. Plan ahead and check what parks are open and the activities you can do there, including camping and swimming: Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture website. For information on national parks managed by Parks Australia, including Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, go to the Australian Government's Parks Australia website.

    The following businesses may reopen after reading the guidelines completing and COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist:

  • Changes to restrictions

    In stage three you can:

    • Operate all licensed gaming activities including a TAB.
    • Resume officiating, participating and supporting the playing of team sports such as football, basketball, soccer and netball.
    • Attend any cinema or theatre, concert hall, music hall, dance hall, nightclub or any other similar entertainment venue in approved configuration.
    • Attend an amusement venue.
    • Attend a bar without food being consumed.
    • Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides beauty therapy and/or cosmetic services including facial care.
    • Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides tattooing or body art such as branding and piercing.
    • Attend an amusement park, community centre, recreation centre or play centre.
    • Attend an arena, stadium, sporting facility including community and sporting competitions with spectators in approved seating configuration. However, if above 500 people the event requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    • All businesses, facilities and services previously restricted can now resume ensuring adherence to key principles.

    Major events will be approved on a case by case basis.

    Guidelines and checklists are now available.

    Parks and reserves

    From noon Friday 5 June 2020 the designated biosecurity zones will be lifted. Unless closed for seasonal closures, parks and reserves will be open and accessible to Territorians.

    Conditions and access to parks in the Northern Territory (NT) can change at short notice. You should check the below website before you leave.

  • Personal and community responsibility

    • Ensure you are following these principles in your daily life.
    • Encourage your family and friends to follow these principles in their daily life.
    • Take responsibility - it is only if the community work together that we will keep the NT safe.

    Physical distancing

    • A minimum space of 1.5 metres between you and other people who aren’t known to you.
    • If you need to be facing another person and closer than 1.5 metres apart minimise contact to less than 15 minutes.
    • A minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained at all times between you and any other people who are not part of your close circle of household or family contacts.
      This means you should not come closer than 1.5m (for more than 15 minutes) to other people such as workmates or those who you may encounter in any place outside of your home, other than those who you are already regularly, and necessarily in contact with to perform your work duties, such as a work partner with whom you travel regularly in a vehicle.
      Physical distancing remains one of the most important measures that we all can take to suppress and control the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Refer to SafeWork Australia for more information on physical distancing.


    • Avoid touching your face and cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow.
    • Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before and after any contact with surfaces such as playground equipment that is used by more than one person.
    • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched by more than one person – e.g. phones, door handles, benches, equipment, toys etc.
    • Avoid sharing cups, utensils and cigarettes.
  • Other information

    Quarantine guidelines

    From 17 July, interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory who are not from a declared hotspot. do not need to self-quarantine.

    Interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot in the last 14 days must undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine.

    There are no changes to mandatory quarantine requirements for international arrivals. All interstate arrivals are required to complete the border entry form up to 72 hours prior to arrival.


    Fines can be issued by Police or Environmental Health Officers for failing to abide by the Chief Health Officer Directions issued under section 56 of the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011.

    This includes failing to comply with quarantine requirements, breaching a bio security checkpoint or failing to follow any other public health direction.

    In addition to this, the NTG recently passed legislation making spitting or coughing at a Territory worker is a $5495 offence and offenders will potentially face jail time.

    Respiratory symptoms

    Stay home and stay away from other people and arrange to be tested for COVID-19 infection if you have symptoms of respiratory illness, including loss of smell, nasal symptoms, sore throat, tired, cough or fever.

    Call ahead to your GP before presenting for review of respiratory symptoms.

    More information

    For hotline numbers go to contact page.

    Learn more about the Territory's border response PDF (904.5 KB)

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