NT border closed for 18 months

 

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner has revealed he will keep the state's border shut for at least another 18 months from Tuesday, and recruiting extra police to keep the barriers in place.

Currently, anyone coming from Sydney or Victoria must complete two weeks quarantine at their own expense if they want to enter the state, and everyone must fill in a border declaration pass.

Mr Gunner told ABC 24 the list of banned venues is more likely to increase than decrease, and 18 months was a "conservative" estimate for when the borders would be wide open again.

"We have got an indefinite ban on Victoria, and Sydney keeps bubbling away to a point to I can't give you a date where that would ever lift," he said.

"My advice to every Territorian, if you can, stay here in the Territory. You're safe here, don't go.

"If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans, stay here in the Northern Territory."

The Chief Minister said the state is recruiting extra police to keep hard border controls in place, and extra health staff to help with screening at the airport.

Mr Gunner said the decision to maintain hard borders was made to protect the state's vulnerable remote indigenous population.

"Territorians first. This is what I think I need to do to make sure some of the most vulnerable people in the world stay safe," he said.

"I'm not taking risks here. Your life comes first. This is the Territory-first test. If you're as safe as us, you're welcome in.

"If you're not, sorry, we're closed to you."

More to come.

Originally published as NT border closed for 18 months


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