NT borders could open earlier than expected

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner says NT borders could open before community transmission is eliminated across the country.

With no timeline given for reopening the Territory’s borders, Mr Gunner says “We are looking at the community transmission rate down south. We have a flexible trigger, not a hard trigger (to open borders)”.

“We’re not quite there yet.” Mr Gunner goes on to explain that “Zero [community transmission] would be the best number, if we’re flexible it might mean that community transmission is not at zero, but it’s happening in a way that it doesn’t give us the concern that it’s going to get across the border.”

Along with Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, The Northern Territory will continue to take a hard line stance on border restrictions, going against the advice two of the Australian Government’s top medical advisors who claim there was no medical rationale for state and territory borders to be closed.

“From a medical point of view, I can’t see why the borders are still closed but, as I said, that’s for the states and territories themselves to decide when that time is right for them,” Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said last week.

NT’s Chief Minister has, rebuked Mr Kelly’s comments, saying “I’m glad I took the advice from our Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie … I think closing the borders is one of the best things I’ve done to keep the Territory the safest place in the country,” Mr Gunner said.

A move in which Mr Gunner claims as the biggest factor in protecting the NT from community transmission of COVID-19.

The Northern Territory Government announced on Saturday that restrictions on travel within NT borders will be lifted on June 5, almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

 

 

 

by Angus Jones

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