Comments made on Tuesday (11 August) by the Northern Territory Chief Minister, have been widely misreported to give the impression that the territory’s borders have closed and will stay closed until 2022.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who is attempting to win a second consecutive term of government in the NT general election to be held on 22 August, speaking to press said he was determined to prevent the spread of COVID from other states to Northern Territory [should he be re-elected].
The comments in Mr Gunner’s address were used by mainstream media, including outlets such as the BBC, through to business events & travel media outlets, to produce headlines that stated closed borders up until 2022, when in fact there had been no changes.
Executive PA Media and Event Organisers contacted the NT Government offices for clarification and an NT Government spokesperson said. “There is no change to border control requirements for all people arriving to the Territory, including returning Territorians.”
The Northern Territory is more dependent on tourism than anywhere else in Australia and business events is an acknowledged key component of the region’s economy. Mr Gunner also advised Territorians to cancel their Christmas holiday plans and celebrate locally, but his comments will be cold comfort to tourism and business events operators, who are mainly reliant on visitors and business from outside of the region.
Current NT border control requirements
Anyone entering the NT from a declared hotspot is required to undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine at their own cost.
Everyone entering the NT must complete a border entry form that details their locations for the last 14 days.
If you have already entered the NT and a hotspot is declared within 14 days of your having been there, you must advise the Public Health Unit on 1800 008 002 and follow any instructions.
Hotspots can and do change. Current information is available on www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au