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Update on declaring and revoking hotspots for travel to the NT

16 November 2020

This follows on from an outbreak that has occurred in the northern suburbs of Adelaide and has grown overnight to include 17 positive COVID-19 cases.

Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory from South Australia will need to do undertake 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine.

Those people from South Australia arriving in the Northern Territory today will have the option of returning or entering mandatory quarantine in either Alice Springs or Howard Springs. Due to the short notice, arrivals from South Australia today and tomorrow will not be required to pay the quarantine fee.

If you are intending to travel to the Northern Territory from an identified COVID-19 hotspot you are advised to rethink your plans. If you are a Territorian intending to travel to a hotspot you are advised to rethink your plans. If you travel to South Australia while it is a declared hotspot, you will be required to undertake 14 days mandatory quarantine on your return at a cost of $2,500 per person.

Anyone who has arrived in the Northern Territory from South Australia in the past 14 days must:

  • Contact the COVID-19 hotline 1800 008 002 and identify yourself as a person who has been in an area that has been declared a hotspot since you arrived in the NT
  • If directed, you must submit to a test or assessment for COVID-19 infection
  • Practice high levels of personal hygiene and physical distancing.
  • Stay home if unwell and get tested and keep 1.5 metres away from others. Sleep in a separate bedroom and minimise contact with others until 14 days has elapsed since your arrival in the NT.

The Chief Health Officer will continue to review and assess the COVID-19 situation in South Australia and take into account COVID-19 monitoring and data collection, the extent of community transmission and risks to the NT community.

The Chief Health Officer will revoke Greater Melbourne as a hotspot from midday on 30 November 2020 provided the current COVID-19 situation continues to remain optimistic.

Victoria has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 for the past 17 days. There are only three active cases across the entire state and these are all from a known source.

Waiting another fortnight before revoking the hotspot status will allow us to be confident that Greater Melbourne has maintained its COVID-safe environment for two full replication cycles – consistent with previous decisions on removing hot spot declarations.

The Chief Health Officer is also introducing new directions from 30 November 2020 to further protect the health of Territorians.

A new COVID-Safe Check-In system is being introduced requiring customers to provide their contact details upon entry to a range of venues if spending more than 15 minutes there. This will assist our health teams to quickly act and undertake contact tracing if required.

Businesses and organisations will also be required to comply with, and review their COVID-10 Safety Plan every six months and appoint a COVID Safety Supervisor from within their team to implement their plan.

The risk of COVID-19 in our communities cannot be eliminated. Personal behaviour is our best defence against COVID-19 which is why it is important for everyone to follow all health directions.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay away from others and call a doctor or the NT COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 008 002
  • Maintain a physical distance of 1.5m
  • Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser regularly

Quotes attributable to Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie

“I have declared South Australia as a hotspot, effective immediately. This declaration has been made rapidly to protect the health of all Territorians.

“The outbreak in South Australia has grown quickly and the decisions made in the coming days to contain it will be critical. This is why I have made the decision to go hard and wide and declare all of South Australia as a hotspot. I will continue to review and assess the situation and respond accordingly.

“This virus is not to be taken lightly. Personal behaviour is our best defence against COVID-19. I urge Territorians not to be complacent and to follow all of the health advice.”

“I am confident in revoking Greater Melbourne as a hotspot from 30 November 2020, particularly as Victoria has recorded no cases of COVID-19 for 17 days straight.”

“Victoria has done an extraordinary job to beat a second wave of COVID-19. No other place in the world has had this success.