NT wakes to weekend free from COVID rules

·1-min read

Northern Territorians have been told to get out and grab a famous Top End weekend markets' laksa after the relaxation of COVID-19 health restrictions.

Gyms have reopened and people have been encouraged to go dancing to celebrate as hospitality venue rules ease.

The easing comes after an outbreak at a central Australian mine that sent Greater Darwin and Alice Springs into lockdown was brought under control.

"You masked when you had to, you kept your distance, you checked in 1.2 million times in the last week alone," jubilant Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters as he announced restrictions would end at 1pm local time on Friday.

"We're going back to where we were pre-lockdown.

"Go back to the gym, you can line up for a laksa at the markets, and if you really want to celebrate, you can hit the dancefloor tonight."

Face masks are also no longer required in public and a 10-person limit on the number of people permitted at private residences has been withdrawn.

The restrictions were imposed last Friday after a lockdown ended following a Delta variant outbreak in Newmont's Granites Mine in the Tanami Desert on June 26.

Twenty people linked to the mine were infected but Mr Gunner says health restrictions worked and the outbreak is no longer a threat in the NT.

The ever-popular weekend markets are a staple of Territorian life, offering an array of Asian cuisine, including the spicy noodle soup known as laksa, which is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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