Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner says anyone from the Batemans Bay Eurobodalla Shire council area will now no longer be able to enter the Top End, following a coronavirus cluster linked to a club on NSW’s south coast.
NSW Health issued a public health warning for Batemans Bay Soldiers Club late on Sunday after a further four people linked to the venue tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of cases to 12.
The inclusion of the Batemans Bay (Eurobodalla Shire) joins Victoria, Sydney and the Blue Mountains as considered “hotspots” by the NT government.
Speaking to media on Monday, Mr Gunner called on any Territorians who have returned from New South Wales and visited Batemans Bay to isolate and arrange for testing.
“Following a cluster of cases in Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast, (NT chief health officer) Hugh Heggie has determined the area to be a geographical area of risk,” Mr Gunner said.
“I also want to give a fair warning to residents in Canberra, given the proximity to Batemans Bay and the regular travel that occurs there.”
The new advice comes just days after the Northern Territory reopened their border to most of Australia – excluding Victoria and greater Sydney.
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Last week, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said residents from Sydney would be banned from entry to the Top End and forced to pay $2500 for 14 days of quarantine if they visited. He said the decision was to protect Territorians, saying the hotspot regions “present a danger to the Territory”.
Earlier today, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said he plans on keeping the hard border with Victoria in place for an “extended period of time”. After seeing an increase of cases in parts of Sydney, Mr Marshall said a reopening of the border to NSW and the ACT anytime soon was unlikely.
“We are seeing a few more cases of community transmission that we really need to understand the epilink associated with those new infections,” he said on Monday.
“The Transition Committee meets tomorrow and again on Friday. They’ll be looking very carefully, especially with the border with New South Wales and the ACT.”