'Officially eradicated': The region reopening its borders to Aussie travellers

The Northern Territory will reopen its borders to all states and territories in Australia as of July 17.

Interstate visitors will not need to quarantine when they arrive in the territory.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner made the announcement on Thursday afternoon during an update about the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions.

Tjanera Falls in Litchfield National Park, in Northern Territory. The territory will reopen its borders to Australian travellers from July 17. Source: Getty Images

"This morning I received medical advice that community transmission down south is now tracking at an acceptable risk level," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

He said it was the “final piece of the puzzle” in terms of easing virus restrictions.

Mr Gunner emphasised the change is for interstate arrivals only. 

“Nothing changes for international arrivals. They will continue to be enforced quarantine.

“Today's announcement is an exciting step but also a scary step,” he said.

Mr Gunner said the NT is the first Australian state or territory to “officially eradicated the coronavirus”.

“It has been 28 days since the last coronavirus patient recovered. The safest place in Australia, without question.”

Worst case predictions for the NT estimated 2,000 coronavirus deaths, however it has recorded none.

“The most effective weapon in our arsenal has been our hard borders,” Mr Gunner said, before also thanking business owners, healthcare workers, teachers and public servants for their hard work and co-operation.

Worst case predictions for the NT estimated 2,000 coronavirus deaths. Sunset over Tabletop Range in the Northern Territory. Source: Getty

The NT had previously eradicated the virus in April after recording three virus-free weeks. 

However, at the end of the month, four Airforce Defence Force personnel tested positive for the virus in the Middle East and were flown to Darwin for treatment. 

All of the personnel we’re asymptomatic.

South Australia opens borders to select states

The announcement comes just days after South Australia opened up its borders to residents in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

People who recently arrived from those states and are in isolation are now free to move into the wider community.

But WA Premier Mark McGowan hosed down talk of a potential travel bubble with SA and the NT, saying his government had received Commonwealth advice that such a move would breach the constitution.

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