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Entering the Territory by sea

Message to Mariners for non-commercial vessels

You must go as directly as possible to Darwin Harbour if arriving from overseas or interstate. Do not land, anchor or moor elsewhere in the Northern Territory (NT) unless it is an emergency or you have received prior approval from the Chief Health Officer.

If arriving from overseas or a designated hotspot, you cannot quarantine on your vessel and must secure your vessel at your own cost.

All international arrivals and arrivals from hotspots must enter mandatory secure quarantine at a specified place at your own expense for 14 DAYS beginning from the day of arrival until midday on the 14th day. A quarantine fee applies.

Find out more about quarantine

If anyone on board feels unwell, you must contact the following:

  • Centre for Disease Control, only if you have COVID-19 symptoms, by calling 1800 008 002.
  • If it's an emergency call 000.

Before you arrive

A minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival in Darwin Harbour, the skipper of the vessel must contact Coast Radio Darwin or Harbour Control and provide the following details:

  • Vessel information
  • Time, date and place of arrival
  • Port of exit, and any other ports visited in the previous 14 days
  • Number of passengers and contact details
  • Health condition of passengers - i.e. any unwell passengers
  • Intentions / Reasons / Circumstances of attendance
  • Any pets on board

The following is also required:

  • All persons must complete online border entry form prior to arrival. You must complete the form up to 72 hours before you arrive.
  • Arrange a safe mooring or anchorage for your vessel by contacting Coast Radio Darwin or Harbour Control.
  • If you are arriving from overseas you must also contact Australian Border Force. Find contact information on the Australian Border Force website.
  • Arrange for any animals or pets to be cared for during your 14 day quarantine period.

When you arrive in NT waters

Vessels arriving in NT waters from overseas or declared hotspots:

  • From International waters will be processed by Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Department of Agriculture, and will then be subject to the normal NT COVID-19 border arrival conditions which includes quarantine for 14 days.
  • From another State or Territory in Australia – mariners must proceed as directly as possible to Darwin Harbour.
  • All arrivals must also comply with the following:
    1. Coast Radio Darwin or Harbour Control (as the case may be) will identify a suitable mooring location prior to reception of NT Water Police.
    2. All border arrival inspections shall be conducted within 24 hours of arrival in NT Waters.
    3. All persons on the arriving vessel must action the following:
    • Submit a completed and signed NT Border Arrival Form
    • Provide identification
    • Respond to questions relating to their intended destination and health status
    • Provide information about how long they have been at sea
    • Advise whether they have disembarked the vessel at any time during their journey.
  • During the qurantine period the security of the vessel remains the responsibility of the incoming traveller/s, all mooring, slip storing fees or insurance fees will be at your expense and you will also have to arrange and pay for the care of any animals/pets.
  • Non Compliance will result in a fee of $5056 AUD per person
  • Mariners leaving a NT port or landing, and who meet the below criteria DO NOT HAVE TO quarantine upon return to their home port or landing in the NT.
    • Do not cross into International Waters; and
    • Travel into, but do not land, in a declared hotspot area; and
    • Have not met up with or interacted with other vessels whilst at sea from overseas or a declared hotspot.

Cruise and large passenger vessels

Cruise and large passenger vessels entering Northern Territory (NT) waters must:

The cruise or large passenger vessel must have approval from the NT Incident Controller incidentcontroller.EOC@pfes.nt.gov.au to enter NT waters to ensure that only one cruise or large passenger vessel is in the Port of Darwin and no more than two vessels are in NT waters at the same time.

The cruising company must complete a COVID-19 Management Plan for each cruising vessel and submit it for approval by the CHO or his delegate. The Plan will describe a number of key strategies to mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19: prior to commencing the cruise, while cruising, when disembarking for shore excursions, and at completion of cruising.

The Plan is valid for six months from the approval date, unless the CHO Directions change and it is revoked. The cruising company is expected to submit an updated COVID-19 Management Plan, prior to the expiry date of the approved Plan.

If approved, the company will receive a notification email from the Border Restrictions Unit and will be provided a reference number for their approved COVID-19 Management Plan. The company has a responsibility to provide the approved COVID-19 Management Plan to their workers and ensure they understand their commitment to work to the plan.

Every person on board the vessel, including passengers and crew, are required to complete a Border Entry Form each time they enter the NT from another state or Territory or from an international destination. The Border Entry Form must be completed in the 7 days prior to entering the NT.

For more information and details about how to complete a COVID-19 Management Plan for a cruise vessel contact the NT COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484 or email DOH.Exempt@nt.gov.au.