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Current restrictions, rules and exposure sites

Lockdown for Milikapiti, Galiwin’ku, Gunyangara, Wurrumiyanga and all land known as the Utopia Homelands

Milikapiti began lockdown at 2:46pm 24 January and will finish at 2pm on 27 January 2022.

Gunyangara (Ski Beach) in East Arnhem , Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands and Utopia PDF (1.2 MB) in the Barkly region entered a 7 day lockdown from 2pm 22 January 2022 to 2pm 29 January 2022.

People who have left one of these communities within the last 7 days must submit to a RAT test in the next 24 hours (unless they have already tested negative since leaving). If you are still in the community, please follow local Health advice.

Lockdown continues for Elcho Island PDF (740.6 KB) including Galiwin’ku and the Wessel Islands including Martjanba, until 2pm, 31 January 2022.

During a lockdown, residents must stay at home and are only permitted to leave for the following five reasons:

  1. Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination
  2. For essential goods and services, like groceries, medications or power tokens. Only one household member should visit the store, once per day.
  3. For work that is considered essential.
  4. For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5 km from your home with one other person or people from your house.
  5. To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves. In case of an emergency, including escaping harm from domestic/family violence .

Masks must be worn outside of the home. Essential workers who are fully vaccinated can continue to go to work.

During the lockdown, an essential worker may leave a lockdown area for work purposes, provided they:

  • maintain physical distance from others of 1.5 metres, subject to an essential worker’s requirements at work;
  • wear a mask at all times (subject to exceptions – see above); and
  • get a RAT test within 24 hours after leaving the lockdown area.

See lockdown area map

Lockout for Alice Springs, Amoonguna, Yuendumu and Yuelamu

The lockout for Alice Springs PDF (686.2 KB) and Amoonguna has been extended until 2pm Sunday 30 January 2022.

The lockout for Yuendumu and Yuelamu has been extended until 3pm Sunday 30 January 2022.

Fully vaccinated people are able to live normally within the lockout area. Mandatory mask use remains in place.

Unvaccinated people 16 years and over, including those people who have received only their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, must stay at home during a lockout period and are only permitted to leave for the following four reasons:

  1. medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination
  2. for essential goods and services, like groceries, power tokens and medications
  3. for an hour of exercise, while wearing a mask;
  4. to provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.

You cannot travel more than 30km from your home when leaving for one of the three reasons. If you need to go to the hospital and it is more than 30km from your home that is permitted.

Businesses and organisations are obligated to ensure employees, customers, visitors and participants are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people may access essential services only including supermarkets, hospitals or to get takeaway food.

Anyone caught breaching CHO Directions – including not wearing a mask – face a $5,000 fine.

See lockout area map

Vaccine Pass (proof of vaccination)

You will now need to show proof of vaccination when visiting certain venues.

The venues are:

  • Bars, pubs and nightclubs licensed to sell and consume liquor on premises
  • Clubs licensed to sell and consume liquor on premises
  • Casinos and licensed gaming venues
  • Restaurants with a liquor licence
  • Cinema, theatre, concert, music or dance hall

The requirement does not impact: take away food or beverages; food court, food truck, market stall or casual dining café that operates without a liquor licence.

If you are not fully vaccinated you cannot visit above venues.

Read more about proof of vaccinations and what is required.

Mandatory mask use

An indoor mask mandate is currently in place. You must wear a mask while indoors when you cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people.

This includes pubs, clubs, restaurants, shopping centres, hairdressers, workplaces, public transport, taxi cabs, ride share and indoor boat cruises.

Masks are not required to be worn in private residences or while exercising. Children under the age of 12 do not need to wear a mask. It is highly recommended that everyone wears a mask when outdoors, particularly at any large public outdoor events.

Face masks provide an extra layer of protection and are proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, particularly when physical distancing can’t be applied.

Children under the age of two years should not wear a mask. It is up to individuals to decide if children over two years of age wear a face mask.

Those people who have a relevant medical or health condition should not wear a mask if it is not safe or appropriate to do so.

Personal behaviour remains our best defence against COVID-19 which is why it is important for everyone to follow all health directions.

  • Book your Covid-19 vaccine
  • Check in using The Territory Check In App every time, everywhere.
  • If you have symptoms, stay away from others and get tested for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Put your tissue in the bin straight away.
  • Do not travel or go to work if you are sick.
  • Maintain a physical distance of 1.5m at all times.

Face mask exemptions

You are not required to wear a mask if you have a physical illness, mental health condition or disability that makes wearing a mask unsuitable.

Only a police officer or an authorised officer can ask you to confirm the lawful reason you are not wearing a face mask.

If asked by a police officer, you must show them either:

  • a medical certificate or letter from the health practitioner or NDIS provider
  • a statutory declaration.

You must also carry and produce evidence of your name and address to a police officer or authorised officer if requested.

Contact Tracing (Exposure Sites)

Changes to contact tracing in the Northern Territory

From 10 January 2022, we will only notify of major areas of concern, major outbreak venues or super-spreader events in the Northern Territory.

We are no longer routinely listing exposure sites in the Northern Territory since transmission of COVID-19 is now widespread throughout the Territory.

You need to consider any movement through the Territory community as a risk for COVID-19 infection. So make sure to maintain social distancing, perform regular hand hygiene, monitor for symptoms, and get tested if you develop any symptoms.

Notification of exposure sites

Persons who check-in at a venue using the Territory Check In app, will be sent a notification if they were at a location at the same time as a person who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Notifications are issued when a new exposure site becomes known and is relevant to the locations in the recipient’s history in The Territory Check In app.  Only one notification is sent to an individual each day, even if they have visited multiple exposure sites in one day.

If you receive a notification, monitor for symptoms. If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must declare your result online, isolate immediately and register for COVID CareNT.

Visit the Living with COVID-19 page for information on what to do if you have COVID and how to manage your illness.

A notification does not mean you are a close contact.  It provides an alert to monitor for symptoms.

A close contact is a person that:

  • resides in the same household /premises as a COVID-19 positive person
  • has spent four hours or more indoors with a COVID-19 positive person while they were infectious. A person’s infectious period is usually the two days before they developed symptoms, or two days before they tested positive if they did not have symptoms.

A positive COVID-19 person is required to notify their close contacts.

NT Health identifies any areas of concern, major outbreak venues or super-spreader events from information provided by positive COVID-19 persons and advise the community accordingly.  These can include sites where a positive case has been for more than four hours when infectious.

The Territory Check In app also allows you to store your COVID-19 digital certificate which can be used as your Vaccine Pass to enter licensed hospitality venues.

Historical exposure sites in the Northern Territory

Interstate contact tracing alerts

For information on public exposure sites visited by confirmed COVID-19 cases in each state:

Mask mandates at airports

Chief Health Officer Directions make it mandatory for face masks to be worn at all major NT airports and while on board an aircraft. Masks must be worn when inside the airport and when on the airfield.

Children under the age of 12 and people with a specified medical condition are not required to wear a mask.

Mask wearing is mandatory at the following Northern Territory airports:

  • Darwin International Airport
  • Alice Springs Airport
  • Connellan Airport - Ayers Rock (Yulara)
  • Gove Airport
  • Groote Eylandt

A person is not required to wear a mask during an emergency or while doing any of the following:

  • Consuming food or beverage
  • Communicating with a person who is hearing impaired
  • Wearing an oxygen mask

It is the responsibility of individuals to make sure they have a mask to wear when at major NT airports and while on board an aircraft.

Information about face masks

  • Cloth mask (multiple use)

    Cloth masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 to other people when they are made and worn correctly.

    It is important that you buy a mask that will protect you and others. Three-layer masks are best. Two layers are the minimum.

    You will need more than one reusable cloth as these type of masks are less effective when damp. Cloth masks should be washed after each use or at least daily. Reusing a cloth mask without washing it, can lead to self-contamination and infection of the person wearing it.

    Surgical mask (single use)

    You can buy single use surgical masks from outlets such as chemists, some supermarkets and other reputable retailers.

    Surgical masks are available in various levels of protection. Surgical masks are single use only and cannot be washed or re-used. Make sure you dispose of your surgical mask immediately after wearing in a closed bin.

    Don’t use masks with holes or a valve as you will breathe out your germs or the virus onto others. The value of wearing a mask is to protect other people.

    Be aware of fake masks. Increased demand for surgical masks has led to some fake masks entering the Australian market. When buying a mask, make sure that it meets Australian Standards (AS/NZS 1716:2012) or the international equivalent:

    This includes:

    • Having the manufacturers name, trademark or trade name on the mask
    • Certification by an independent body such as SAI Global, and have their licence number marked on the packaging
    • Certification by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), if from the United States of America.
  • Putting on a face mask

    • Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.
    • A mask should fit securely around your face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas.
    • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
    • Secure the mask to your face using the ties at the back of your head or ear loops. If you are using a mask with ear loops, you can use a plastic clip or tie to join the ends together at the back of your head to make sure it fits snugly on your face.
    • Make sure that your mask does not have holes or any unfiltered one-way valves. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times.

    Taking off a face mask

    • Remove the mask from behind, making sure you don’t touch the front of mask.
    • If it is a single-use mask, discard it immediately in a closed bin.
    • If it is a cloth mask, store it in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash it.
    • Wash your hands after you take your mask off, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.
  • Washing machine

    • You can wash your mask with your regular laundry
    • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.

    Washing by hand

    • Fill the laundry sink or a bucket with warm water
    • Pour in a bleach solution
    • Soak the mask in bleach for 5 minutes
    • Discard the bleach solution down the drain and rinse the mask thoroughly with cool or room temperature water
    • Make sure to completely dry the mask after washing.

    Bleach solution

    • Check the label of the bleach to make sure it is intended for disinfection
    • Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on coloured clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection
    • Use bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified
    • Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Children under the age of two years should not wear a mask. It is up to individuals to decide if children over two years of age wear a face mask.

  • If the person can maintain a distance of 1.5m of other people indoors, they are not required to wear a mask.

    If they cannot maintain this distance and say they have an exemption, only an authorised officer or police officer can ask them for proof of their exemption.

    Best practice is to maintain a distance of 1.5m of other people where possible and practice good hand hygiene.