News State Northern Territory NT drops mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors

NT drops mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors

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Jim Leach is usually flat out at this time of year, running Batchelor Holiday Park at the gateway to Litchfield National Park, but that was a time before coronavirus closed the NT’s borders.

“It has been terrible, we have been virtually empty,” he said.

But from Monday, interstate arrivals are allowed to self-isolate in a place of their choosing rather than being sent into forced hotel quarantine, giving Mr Leach a glimmer of hope.

“We have cabins that are suitable [for self-isolation] because they are fully self-contained, and a lot of the caravans are self-contained as well,” he said.

“We haven’t had any inquiries as of this stage.”

NT Police said they would maintain a strong presence at the borders, even though they are not expecting an influx of people travelling into the Territory by road this week.

Assistant Commander Matt Hollamby said people arriving from interstate needed to act responsibly to avoid a regression in the easing of restrictions.

“This is an easing of our borders, coronavirus is still in Australia, so please make sure you are responsible,” he said.

“It is about maintaining that quarantine sensibly – the person who is isolating should have their own bedroom and can’t leave the premises, but if there is social distancing those already in that house do not need to isolate as well.”

northern territory quarantine virus
The billabong, at Echo Hole Gorge in south-east Arnhem Land. Photo: Getty

July opening of NT’s borders on the cards

The NT’s Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, said the government would consider opening the Territory’s border in July if there were no further outbreaks of coronavirus in Australia.

“Things are looking good,” he said.

“From Friday this week I could be announcing the opening of the border. Hopefully we will with confidence be able to give a date very soon.”

The NT government has said it would give about 30 days notice of reopening the borders, making late July the earliest likely date.

“If I was to make a decision at the end of this week to lift the borders, it would put us on the timeline of South Australia,” he said.

South Australia has announced it will re-open its borders on July 20.

In NSW, Victoria and the ACT, there are no border conditions.

Western Australia’s government has not provided a date on when the state’s borders will open.

Queensland and Tasmania have said they will review their closed borders in July, with Queensland’s premier hoping to open the borders by July 10.

-ABC