Chief Minister Michael Gunner claims that the Northern Territory is “much more likely” to introduce more COVID-19 hotspots and ban more Australians from moving to the NT than to remove some announced existing hotspots.
“We’re much more likely to add spots than remove them, we’ve got an indefinite ban on Victoria and Sydney keeps bubbling away to the point where I can’t give you a date where that will ever lift,” he said.
Mr Gunner, facing an election on 22 August and focusing on the treatment of coronavirus by his administration, said the NT intended to retain border controls for at least 18 months.
“My advice to every Territorian is if you can stay in the Territory. You’re safe here, don’t go,” he said.
“If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans and stay here in the Northern Territory.
“We’re working towards at least an 18-month window from today towards the end of next year if how we are resourcing our borders.”
The Territory opened its borders on July 17, allowing most Australians to travel freely through the NT upon their arrival.
But anyone who enters the NT from a coronavirus hotspot — which includes the state of Victoria and Greater Sydney — must undergo two weeks of supervised quarantine upon their arrival at a personal cost of $2,500.
“At the moment it’s indefinite [hotspot status] to Victoria. I’ve got no idea when Victoria will ever get it under control,” Mr Gunner said.