NT's hard border for Sydneysiders extended four weeks

NT's hard border for Sydneysiders extended four weeks

The Northern Territory Government has decided to keep existing restrictions on travellers from Greater Sydney for a further four weeks, while the timeline for restrictions on Victorians remains indefinite.

In mid-July when Chief Minister Michael Gunner (pictured) said he wouldn't "roll the dice" on visitors from Sydney, he explained measures would be reviewed before the replication cycle ended in two weeks.

Now that date is around the corner, and a review has shown community transmission in the NSW presents a threat to the NT for the "foreseeable future".

"The outbreaks of concern are confined to Sydney, and they appear well managed but still growing," Gunner said.

"Based on this assessment and to provide certainty for all Territorians, we're extending our hotspot declaration to all of Greater Sydney for at least another four weeks - that is two more replication cycles on the virus.

"That means our borders will stay close to all of Greater Sydney - anyone who lives there, anyone who's been there - until at least Friday, the 28th of August. That is the earliest possible date before any change, but make no promises about that date."

For anyone who does come to the NT from Sydney, they will need to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine at their own expense of $2,500.

"For other local government areas in New South Wales that are currently declared hotspots, we will continue to monitor them regularly. They will stay as hotspots for the time being," he said.

"When we kept our borders closed in Victoria I said it was indefinite, and nothing has changed there. Frankly there is no end in sight right now in terms of when our border arrangements with Victoria will change. I would say it is months away at least.

"The situation there is grim, confronting and tragic. I know we are all thinking of friends and family in Melbourne right now. They are doing what needs to be done to be on top of this, not just to protect themselves but ultimately protect all of us."

The Chief Minister added an additional $20 million would be invested to recruit 130 extra police and support staff along with the purchase of 20 new police vehicles, in order to help man the borders and support communities. 

"The new recruits will include frontline constables, Aboriginal liaison officers, Aboriginal community police officers and support staff. Recruitment and training will begin straight away," Gunner said.

"The first crews will be on the job by October. The roll-out of the extra officers will continue through to November next year.

"The new recruits will help relieve the current rostering pressures, giving the cops on the borders a bit of a break. And it also means we'll be well prepared to cover any changes in support from the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Defence Force down the track."

Updated at 3:49pm AEST on 27 July 2020.

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