Australia

Northern Territory to force interstate visitors to foot the bill for forced quarantine in hotels

The NT is imposing greater border controls this week as part of its fight to contain the coronavirus outbreak Source: AAP

The Northern Territory government is to impose stricter border controls later this week, forcing all arrivals into supervised quarantine.

The Northern Territory is beefing-up its border controls, ordering all arrivals from interstate or overseas into 14-days of forced and supervised quarantine in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

From midnight on Wednesday, all arrivals will have to comply with the new rules, while from midnight on Friday anyone who arrives will be forced to pay for their hotel stay during the quarantine period.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner speaks during a press conference
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner speaks during a press conference
AAP

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said people wanting to come to the territory had been given enough notice that such travel was not advised.

"If you are starting to think I don't want you here, you're right," Mr Gunner said on Monday.

"Do not come here, we do not want you here. Sorry, but not right now.

"When all of this is over please come to the Territory, it's the greatest place on earth, but not right now."

Mr Gunner said if he had the power he would close the NT borders completely, after deeming the threat posed by people coming to the Territory, "too great".

He said his aim with the new measures was to not just slow the flow of people across the border, but to stop it completely.

So far the Territory has recorded 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases, all linked to overseas travel.

Mr Gunner said he understood that regulations and restrictions were changing rapidly.

But he urged all Territorians to simply remember five words: "stay home if you can".

"When you're out in public, around a lot of other people, you're rolling the dice on your health and your family's health," he said.

"Instead of rolling the dice choose the safest bet, stay home if you can."

Also on Monday, the NT government announced a further $5 million has been set aside to provide workers with "wellbeing support" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government will establish a Worker and Wellbeing Fund focusing on residents who have lost their jobs, are facing reduced income, or who are otherwise affected within their workplace due to COVID-19.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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