Darwin lockout extended, Katherine lifted

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The Greater Darwin lockout of unvaccinated people has been extended as authorities race to find people potentially exposed to COVID-19 during the Northern Territory's first community outbreak.

No new cases were recorded on Monday but health workers remain concerned after a traveller who brought the virus to the Top End came clean about her movements.

"It has taken a lot of time to fully corroborate her story," Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters on Monday.

"However, we believe there may be unknown contacts and we are particularly concerned with doing more contact tracing work on the Noonamah hotel exposure site."

Mr Gunner said the 21-year-old woman spent four hours at the site on Melbourne Cup Day, and only 47 of the 350 patrons at the venue checked in.

"The lack of check-ins has greatly increased the workload for our contact tracers," Mr Gunner said.

The Cup Day event has also forced the lockout in Greater Darwin to be extended by 24 hours to 11.59pm on Tuesday.

Health restrictions were imposed in Greater Darwin and Katherine, 320km to the south, late on Thursday after an unvaccinated man in his 20s contracted the virus without leaving the NT.

The diagnosis alarmed authorities when they realised the origin of his infection was potentially roaming about the territory.

Katherine was fully locked down, along with unvaccinated people in Greater Darwin, until the source was found to be the woman who had flown to the NT from Cairns.

She had also visited South Australia and Victoria before lying on her NT border entry form and spending two nights with the index case at a Darwin hotel.

The woman's infection has since been found to be a Victorian Delta strain of the virus.

She was fined $5024 on Sunday, when the full lockdown in Katherine was eased to a lockout of unvaccinated people.

That's now set to end at 5pm on Monday, but face masks must be worn in most public venues until Friday.

The NT cluster has three cases and all the infected people are in quarantine at the National Centre for Resilience.

Only unvaccinated people who haven't had two jabs are locked down.

Fully vaccinated people are able to move about the community and all businesses are permitted to remain open if their staff are vaccinated.

The NT is calling this a lockout because a vaccine certificate must be shown before people can enter premises.

Locked down people can leave their homes for five essential reasons.

The outbreak has led to the NT vaccination rate soaring in recent days with thousands of people jabbed.

NT Health says 91 per cent of the Territory's eligible population has now had one dose of the vaccine and 78 per cent are fully vaccinated.

That's a big increase from a three weeks ago when just 78 per cent of the eligible population had been given their first dose and 65 per cent were fully vaccinated.

It comes as the NT government imposes new health restrictions for 54 remote Aboriginal communities where less than 70 per cent of the population has had one vaccine dose.

Anyone entering those communities from outside the NT or Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine from Monday must wear a mask in public areas for seven days.

They'll also need to return a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before entry from November 19, with testing of symptomatic residents also stepped up.

The new rules were mandated after Doherty Institute modelling released on Monday set a higher benchmark for remote communities, with the previous 80 per cent double dose target extended to include people aged five to 11.

This won't happen until a TGA approved vaccination for children aged five and up.

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