Coronavirus: Aussies told to 'cancel their holiday Christmas plans'
Due to the growing number of coronavirus cases, one Australian region has called for people to cancel all their Christmas holiday plans.
On Tuesday, it was announced the Northern Territory's border controls on visitors from coronavirus hotspots have been locked in until 2022 with locals told to cancel their Christmas travel plans and stay home.
"My advice to every Territorian is that you can stay here in the Territory. You're safe here, don't go," Chief Minister Michael Gunner told the ABC on Tuesday.
"If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans, stay here in Northern Territory."
Mr Gunner also said the Territory will have hard border controls in place for at least the next 18 months.
Travellers arriving into the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot must undertake 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at a cost of $2500.
The Northern Territory has declared all of Victoria a coronavirus hotspot, along with parts of NSW and Queensland.
The Northern Territory currently has two active cases, with just 34 confirmed cases overall.
“We’re currently the safest place in the country,” Mr Gunner told the ABC.
“You know where you stand with me. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe - I’ll do whatever it takes to save your job, but your life comes first.”
The announcement of the continued hard border controls comes while Mr Gunner is bidding for re-election, with voting already underway.
Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro says Mr Gunner had politicised the coronavirus crisis and was trying to scare Territorians into voting for him.
"He cannot be so careless and reckless with his language," she told reporters.
"A chief minister should know better."
Territory Alliance leader Terry Mills says Mr Gunner should stop the spin and follow Queensland's lead by actually closing the NT to all travellers from NSW.
"Other states have recognised the danger of NSW clusters and have closed their borders," he said in a statement
"Yet (Mr) Gunner continues to have that border open and then foolishly spruiks that borders here in the NT will be closed for another 18 months.
"Simply ridiculous and unbelievable".
Mr Gunner led Labor to a solid win in 2016 but has since been dogged by concerns for the struggling Top End economy.
"Over the next two weeks, all Territorians have an important choice to make," Mr Gunner wrote on Facebook on Monday.
"To me, the choice is clear."
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