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CHO Direction – International and Domestic Air Travel

19 January 2021

The health Directions are in line with a new national approach and come into effect at 12.01am on Wednesday 20 January 2021.

One of the key 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 Darwin, Alice Springs, Yulara, Gove and Groote Eylandt airports 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. It is the responsibility of individuals to supply their own masks.

Under the CHO Directions, international air crew are now required to have a COVID-19 test upon arrival into the Northern Territory if they have not had a test in Australia in the previous seven days.

International air crew travelling from the Northern Territory to another State or Territory will have to do so on board a freight flight or private charter. They will not be allowed to travel on domestic commercial flights unless they have completed 14 days of quarantine and returned a negative test.

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

  • Maintain a physical distance of 1.5m at all times.
  • 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.
  • If you have symptoms, stay away from others and get tested for COVID-19.

Quotes attributable to Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie

“These new Directions are about increasing our defence against COVID-19 and protecting the health and safety of Territorians.

“Australia has managed the COVID-19 response exceptionally well and it is important that we implement these added safety measures to further strengthen our international borders and enhance domestic travel processes.

“Wearing masks in Northern Territory airports and while on-board aircraft will provide an extra layer of protection. Mask wearing is proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, particularly when physical distancing can’t be applied.

“I encourage Territorians to purchase a mask if you don’t already have one. Wearing a mask might take some time to get used to but it is important that we take the steps required to protect our community.

“We want to make sure that we have as little vulnerability and risk as possible. The COVID-19 vaccine will provide a critical protection mechanism but in the meantime we need to apply stringent checks to reduce any risks and strengthen our defence.”