NT government introduces new COVID protocols for interstate arrivals subject to ‘day-three’ testing

People arriving in the Northern Territory after conducting a hotel interstate quarantine are faced with stricter protocols before returning a mandatory negative COVID test, the NT Prime Minister announced.

The new changes cost some travelers hundreds of dollars.

Previously, people arriving in the Northern Territory after entering the hotel quarantine – for any period of time – were required to undergo a test three days after leaving the hotel quarantine.

Under previous rules, people were allowed to move freely in the community before being presented for a ‘day-three’ trial.

But the new rules, announced by Prime Minister Michael Gunner on Thursday, mean people who come to the NT and require a three -day trial are required to enter administered quarantine from the time of their arrival, until return the negative result.

Travelers must pay for their stay in supervised quarantine at this time, an NT Government spokesman confirmed to ABC Darwin.

In May, the NT government ordered a “day 17 test” for arrivals who recently conducted a 14 -day hotel quarantine.

The trial on day 17 came in response to a Victorian outbreak that began when a man completed hotel quarantine in Adelaide before unknowingly carrying the virus across the border.

The 17-day trial introduced by the government since then has been updated with current day-three protocols.

Prime Minister Michael Gunner said strict protocols for arrivals were subject to a three-day trial required after a recent outbreak led to lockdowns in Greater Darwin and Katherine.

“We added the day-three rule as an excessive layer of protection to the Territory,” he said.

“Now we are enacting that rule to strengthen our defense against COVID-19.”

Greater Darwin and Katherine are this week on lockdown after a man arrived in the Northern Territory after flying from the United States to Sydney where he spent two weeks in hotel quarantine.

The man then flew to Darwin from Sydney via Canberra airport.

On Thursday, the NT government declared both Sydney and Canberra airports as COVID hotspots.

Health authorities are still investigating where the man caught the virus.

In June, both Darwin and Alice Springs went into lockdown after infecting a mine worker while in hotel quarantine overnight in Brisbane.

The worker flew to the Tanami mine in Central Australia, before he was alerted to a leak of the hotel quarantine for nearly a week.

The outbreak sent 750 mine workers into lockdowns and infected at least 17 people.

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