News State Northern Territory NT declares Greater Metropolitan Sydney a coronavirus hotspot ahead of border reopening
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NT declares Greater Metropolitan Sydney a coronavirus hotspot ahead of border reopening

Northern Territory Police and health officers conduct spot checks during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: ABC News
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The Northern Territory Government has declared several areas of New South Wales coronavirus hotspots as case numbers in Sydney rise.

The decision means arrivals from these areas will face strict mandatory supervised quarantine protocols when the Territory’s borders reopen on Friday.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the decision follows advice from his Chief Health Officer.

NSW recorded 13 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, and authorities today confirmed a cluster of cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel in southwest Sydney had grown to 34.

“This situation in Sydney has the potential to get worse before it gets better, and we need to assume that it will get worse,” Mr Gunner said.

“To open our borders to Sydney right now, when we don’t know the full extent of this cluster, would be a roll of the dice.”

Mr Gunner said from Friday arrivals to the Territory from Sydney, or who have been in Sydney in the previous 14 days, will be directed into mandatory supervised quarantine at the Howard Springs quarantine facility and charged $2,500.

Mr Gunner apologised to individuals and families inconvenienced by the decision.

Travellers transferring through Sydney Airport will not need to enter mandatory supervised quarantine upon arrival in the NT, as long as they did not leave the airport, Mr Gunner said,

“If you leave Sydney Airport and go into a hotspot, then you are not welcome,” he said.

The decision follows the Northern Territory Government last week declaring all of Victoria a coronavirus hotspot for the purposes of travel to the NT.

Mr Gunner confirmed travellers from other parts of NSW would be able to travel freely within the Northern Territory from Friday.

Mr Gunner said the declaration would remain in place indefinitely.

“We will review the Sydney hotspot declarations in two weeks — one full replication cycle of the virus — to see if they need to be extended or amended,” he said.

“I don’t anticipate this declaration being in place for as long as Victoria’s, but I will not make any promises about a date.

“This will stay in place for as long as we need it to, until we are confident it is under control.”