NT restricting entry, just announced

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 21, 2020 at 18:09
ThreadID: 139820 Views:996 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
From 4pm Tuesday March 24th anyone entering the NT by road, rail, air & sea will have to undergo 14 days quarantine, with some exceptions. In place for 6 months.
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Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 09:44

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 09:44
6 months? They mean business. We live in interesting times.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 10:42

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 10:42
It's going to be interesting to see how they enforce that, with the NT's vast empty coastline, and the huge distances involved in desert, semi-desert, and remote NT boundaries.

Are they going to start up a "Disease-Free Territory Visitor", visa arrangement?
Maybe they're planning a Trump-style border wall?

I was under the impression the NT Govt is bordering on bankruptcy, so I don't know how the enforcement of this costly arrangement will be funded, unless they receive a swag of Federal funding to enforce it.

The police have plenty to do now, without going around checking on 100,000 visitors to see if they're compliant with virus regulations.

What about business operators who have to cross over the border and back again, almost daily? I'm thinking the Lake MacKay Potash project. They're planning on a road from Lake MacKay to the Tanami Road.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 11:16

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 11:16
Ron, from what I see it is about limiting the traffic and slowing the virus. They have to start somewhere and this is good as any, especially with the number of aboriginals in the Territory who will be at great risk.

It is like Tassie they have a big coastline also but being an island they have an advantage.

Here is American virus management. Daughter flew into the states from Taiwan two days ago on her way to Florida, because she came through LA she had to self quarantine. Friends of hers came in from Taiwan and because they didn't go via LA they didn't have to do anything.

I bet the Mexicans are glad Trump shut the border, because of all the Mexicans coming north, thing is Mexico has nowhere near the infection of the states




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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 11:04

Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 11:04
It appears the NT Police are going to set up road blocks on every major highway into the NT - and they claim they are going to use "technology" to operate surveillance on back roads and tracks into the NT.

By that, I presume they will be using satellite photos and aircraft cameras to track vehicle movements.

I'm not so sure that will be totally effective, but I suppose the fact that an "eye in the sky" may be watching those who are tempted to "do a run" into the NT, might have some detrimental effect.

But as always, those with nefarious intent, disregard laws made for civil society, and they will continue to flout any restrictions.
The Police can't be everywhere at once, and technology has its limitations, unless you're tracking particular individuals via helicopter.

NT Border restrictions explained

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 16:41

Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 16:41
Ron, there are going to be a lot of trawlers around the coastline also, as the Banana season kicks off on the April 1st.


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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 18:53

Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 18:53
It's now been announced the Army will be assisting at the checkpoints.
From the NTNews:
"The ADF’s role will be to set up camps at the checkpoints and provide medical assistance to conduct checks of people entering the NT".
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Reply By: Member - PWS - Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 22:29

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 at 22:29
Not sure how that’s going to work I was hoping to travel the madigan track in 3 weeks time ...heading there from Victoria....this might through a spanner in the works
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 17:25

Monday, Mar 23, 2020 at 17:25
PWS,

After the announcements last night regarding interstate travel, I think all trips will now be off. We were planning a Simpson Desert trip for April/May, but have now had to cancel.

Macca.
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Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 at 12:23

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 at 12:23
Questions and Answers
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 at 15:49

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 at 15:49
"Members only story" aka subscription required.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 11:01

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 11:01
A sign on the Queensland-Northern Territory border. Picture: Lee Atkinson
A sign on the Queensland-Northern Territory border. Picture: Lee Atkinson
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THE NT’s borders will closed at 4pm Tuesday March 24, meaning everyone who arrives in the Territory must be quarantined for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, unless for special exemptions.

We answer your questions on what the strict new border controls mean for you.

.

Q1: What if I see someone out who I know is supposed to be self-isolating after just arriving from interstate? What should I do?

Call the NT Public Health hotline on 1800 008 002 and report them.

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Q2. What if someone gets caught failing to follow the self-isolation rules? What will happen to them?

The self-isolation rules are enforceable by law, and a fine of up to $62,800 applies.

Q3. Further to Q2, what will happen to someone caught failing to self-isolate who then turns out to be coronavirus positive? Will extra action be taken against them?

As above, you can be fined $62,800. There are no specific actions for people who turn out to have the virus at this stage.

Q4: I’m a FIFO worker working in the Territory but who lives interstate? Do I have to self-isolate for 14 days every time I return to my job in the Territory after I go home from my swing?

The NT Government held industry meetings on Monday to consult on implementation and exemptions. There will be an exemption that FIFOs can apply for. Those who get exemptions will still be required to follow certain protocols, i.e. social distancing. More information and the application process will be published today.

Q5: I’m a Territorian and have a home here. But I mainly work interstate because that’s where my job takes me. How will these changes affect me?

It depends on what your job is. Unless you fall into one of the categories described in question 12, you will have to self-isolate each time you return home to the Territory.

FIFO workers who work in the Territory but live interstate will be able to apply for exemptions, but will still be required to follow certain protocols such as social distancing.
FIFO workers who work in the Territory but live interstate will be able to apply for exemptions, but will still be required to follow certain protocols such as social distancing.
Q6: I live in the Territory but travel interstate regularly for medical treatment. How will these changes affect me?

You can apply for an exemption to the self-isolation rules to the Chief Health Officer if you are travelling interstate for essential medical treatment.

Q7: I live in the NT just inside the border with WA. I go into Kununurra every couple of days for supplies. How will these changes affect me?

South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall yesterday assured people who lived in border communities they would still be allowed to cross into South Australia, so long as there were no outbreaks of coronavirus in those towns.

The NT is planning to make similar exemptions for border communities here and the people who will be able to apply for exemptions if they go to school or shop over the border (for example).

More information on who can apply for exemptions will be available in the coming days.

MOBILE phone tracking may be used to check travellers as new border restrictions take effect

Q8: What if someone returns to Darwin from interstate after today and goes back to living with their family or housemates? Are the others able to come and go although they have had contact with someone who has been interstate and is now in isolation? Or do all household members now need to self-quarantine as well?

According to advice from the Australian Government, your housemates or other family members should live somewhere else if possible. If it’s not possible, the person who is in isolation should have their own bedroom and bathroom and wear a mask when home with other people.

The NT Government has also opened a drive-through testing clinic at the Manigurr-Ma Village in Howard Springs, and Territorians who aren’t sick but need to self-isolate can stay there if they need to.

Q9: What about the remote border points, such as the Tanami Highway? How will they be policed?

Police and Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed at checkpoints on the major roads into the NT from 4pm today.

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker warned people on Saturday that for anyone attempting to sneak into the Territory using more remote roads, that NT Police would also be using technology to monitor travellers’ comings and goings.

Police officers and ADF personnel will be deployed at border checkpoints on major roads into the NT, including the Tanami Highway.
Police officers and ADF personnel will be deployed at border checkpoints on major roads into the NT, including the Tanami Highway.
Q10: Is there a hotline I can call to get more information on how these changes will affect my circumstances?

Yes, you can call the NT hotline on 1800 008 002 or the national hotline on 1800 020 080.

Q11: How long will the NT’s new border restrictions apply for?

According to the Chief Minister and Police Commissioner, at least six months.

Q12: Who is exempt from having to self-isolate?

People involved in national and state security and governance.
Active military personnel required to be on duty in the Territory while in the Territory.
A member of the Commonwealth parliament who is ordinarily resident in the Territory.
Health service providers and personnel.
Some transport, freight and logistics workers.
Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses or infrastructure.
Emergency services.
Other individuals or groups will be able to apply for an exemption to the Chief Health Officer, for instance visiting a terminally ill relative, or medical grounds, or interstate travel for essential medical treatment.
AMAZING NT News subscription offer: Only $1 for first 28 days

Q13. It sounds like there are going to be many people who will be exempt from the new restrictions. Will they all be checked for any signs of coronavirus when they enter the Territory though? If not, couldn’t any of them just as easily bring it into our community unknowingly?

Yes. All arrivals including Territory residents will be screened at the border.

Q14. What if I have to travel to another state with the same border restrictions for work or other reasons? Say I travel from NT to SA for two days work. It seems I’ll have to self-isolate for 14 days in SA before I spend two days working. When I’m finished do I have to self-isolate for another 14 days when I return home to the NT?

Unless your job falls into one of the exemption categories, yes you would.

More from Northern Territory >
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 12:04

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 12:04
Steve, thanks for filling in the detail. Not questions for you, but just some thinking out loud ...

Under Q8 they state: " the person who is in isolation should have their own bedroom and bathroom and wear a mask when home with other people." I wonder where they'll be able to get a mask, when health workers can't get sufficient supplies.

And Q9 ref Tanami "Highway" they repeat the "major highways" term. I just wonder whether they'll man points like that border, let alone where we last did NT->WA (from Kalkarindji to Halls Creek).
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