NT to lift Adelaide hotspot declaration

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

The Northern Territory will remove all coronavirus hotspot declarations for South Australia from Saturday.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles says the change follows emerging information from SA in relation to the cluster of COVID-19 cases in Adelaide.

SA is preparing to lift its statewide lockdown on Sunday after fears of unchecked community transmission eased.

The change means anyone arriving in the Territory from South Australia after 9am on Saturday will not be required to do 14 days in quarantine.

People already in quarantine will be tested for COVID-19 on Friday and have a general health check before being released.

About 70 people brought from Alice Springs to Darwin will be returned to the Alice Springs if they wish.

Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said the decision to revoke the hotspot declaration was based on information from South Australia and a thorough assessment which showed minimal risk to the Northern Territory.

But he said anyone travelling from SA was urged to get tested before they arrive and stay home if they are sick.

"The decision to go hard and wide early and declare all of South Australia a hotspot was the right one to make to protect the health of Territorians," Dr Heggie said.

"We have put the right mechanisms in place to protect the health and safety of Territorians and to act swiftly should the need occur.

"Our system is working with no community transmission of COVID-19."

Ms Fyles thanked those who had been inconvenienced for their cooperation, but said people needed to appreciate things could change rapidly during the global pandemic.

"Domestic travel is not what it was prior to COVID-19," she said.

"Domestic travel at any point can change quickly and people may be asked to go into quarantine."

South Australia began a six-day statewide lockdown on Thursday but will lift it three days early after it emerged a person with coronavirus lied to contact tracers as to how he became infected.

The new information has eased fears in relation to the extent of the spread of the virus in Adelaide.

So far 25 cases have been linked to the so-called Parafield cluster, although another 44 people are suspected of having the disease.

All of those are currently in quarantine.

Earlier this week the Territory government declared the whole of SA a coronavirus hotspot, however it reduced that to just Adelaide and its surrounding suburbs on Wednesday.