The Northern Territory's hard border restrictions will stay in place for at least a further 18 months and will close to Victoria indefinitely according to Chief Minister Michael Gunner.
The lengthy extension of COVID-19 border restrictions has been implemented to protect the Territory's vulnerable Indigenous population, and extra police will be recruited to maintain these barriers.
As a result, the NT will be closed to anyone in a designated COVID-19 "hotspot", which currently includes all of Sydney and Victoria.
Just last week the NT removed a number of "hotspots" from its list, allowing those from Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, the Blue Mountains and Eurobodalla Shire to enter the jurisdiction without completing a mandatory two-week period of quarantine.
Travellers from Sydney and Victoria are still required to complete a two-week quarantine at their own expense upon entering the Territory and must also sign a border declaration pass.
Chief Minister Gunner described the 18-month timeline as "conservative" on ABC Radio this morning and told all Territorians to "cancel their Christmas holiday plans" to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement comes as Australia reported 353 new cases of COVID-19 today, including 331 in Victoria and 22 in NSW.
Today, for the second day in a row, Victoria confirmed 19 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the country's total number of deaths to 332.
Updated at 4:00pm AEST on 11 August 2020.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support