A planeload of passengers from Melbourne have been sent into supervised quarantine at Howard Springs after flying into Darwin about 15 minutes after the NT government’s latest coronavirus restrictions came into force.
The Qantas flight landed at Darwin just before 12:15pm with those on board put on buses to take them to the Howard Springs quarantine facility.
On Wednesday night, Northern Territory Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain declared all of regional Victoria a hotspot, which followed last week’s move to declare Greater Melbourne and Bendigo hotspots.
The latest declaration came into force at 12:00pm.
“The declaration follows a continual increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases being recorded in Victoria with exposure sites expanding across a wider geographical area,” a NT Health statement said.
The statement said anyone who arrived in the NT from Victoria after 12:00pm on Thursday, June 3 must undertake 14 days of supervised quarantine at either the Alice Springs or Howard Springs facilities.
Shane Robinson was waiting at Darwin airport for his 18-year-old daughter, who was making the trip to celebrate his birthday.
He said she would probably have to fly back to Victoria on the next flight, which was extremely disappointing for both of them.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the hotspot measure was necessary even though restrictions are set to be eased in regional Victoria overnight.
Dr Pain added the easing of restrictions in regional Victoria would potentially put the NT at greater risk.
But Hospitality NT boss Alex Bruce said the move to declare all of Victoria a hotspot was “disappointing”.
“Making all of regional Victoria excluded from the Territory right now at a time when the Victorian health authorities look like they are actually going to ease some of those rules down there is a question many in our industry are asking,” he said.
The Finke Desert Race runs between June 11-14 while the Darwin Supercars race takes place between June 18-20.
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