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COVID-19 – Chief Health Officer quarantine direction and NTA's issued

23 July 2020

On Tuesday 21 July 2020, a 25-year-old and a 54-year-old-male travelled to Nhulunbuy on a flight from the Australian Capital Territory via Queensland. It is alleged both falsely declared they had not been in a designated hot spot.

On Wednesday 22 July 2020, the two men were questioned by police in relation to their travel and inconsistencies were identified. Further investigations revealed the men had been in Sydney in the last 14 days. Both men were taken into police custody in Nhulunbuy and placed in quarantine pending being transported to Howard Springs Quarantine Facility via Police Airwing.

The men have each been issued with a notice to appear in court on Monday 10 August 2020 for failing to abide by the CHO Directions under section 56 of the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 and making a false declaration pursuant to section 119 of the Criminal Code Act (NT) 1983.

Incident Controller Commander Matt Hollamby said the actions of the men is grossly irresponsible.

"These individuals potentially placed the lives of Territorians at risk. Due to the diligent work of NT Police and the systems in place to protect Territorians this serious breach of COVID-19 restrictions was discovered quickly.

"The men were spoken to at their nominated private address before being taken into custody. Both men have returned negative COVID-19 test results.

"The actions of the men comes at a significant cost and an unnecessary use of resources. NT police will now complete a deep clean of the Nhulunbuy Police Station and a police aircraft.

"NT Police remind people travelling to the Northern Territory from declared hotspots, that should you still decide to come to the NT, you will be sent to a mandatory quarantine facility at your own cost.

"If you lie on your entry declaration you may face heavy penalties including three years in jail." said Commander Hollamby.

Separately, a 50-year-old male who recently arrived from Western Australia after being in Victoria within 14 days of his arrival has also been issued an infringement. The man was not at his residence in the rural area when police conducted compliance checks.

NT Police and Environmental Health Officers continue to undertake compliance activities.