The Australian Government is extending the measures it has introduced to protect remote communities in the Northern Territory facing the COVID-19 outbreak in line with the local requirements in the territory.
The determination under section 477 of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 will extend until 6pm, 22 November, preventing people from entering and/or exiting the Robinson River and surrounding homelands.
Restricting the movement of people in and out of these communities for only essential reasons, for a short time while the virus is present, will help stop any further spread of COVID-19 in the region.
We have already seen the case numbers grow in this current outbreak, and the restriction of movement around the Robinson River community is necessary to prevent COVID-19 reaching other isolated communities.
The Australian Government continues to receive advice from the acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, informed by the experience of health care workers on the ground, representatives of the communities, and Northern Territory authorities.
These measures will help to contain the current COVID-19 outbreak in the Robinson River, and hopefully spare other remote communities from the risk of the disease spreading.
The initial Determination, and this extension, have been requested by the Northern Territory Government and supported by critical stakeholders, including the Northern Land Council, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
All residents of Robinson River are encouraged to continue to follow their local Health Department directions, to be tested in the coming days and to get vaccinated by the available means, if not already.
The measures will be in place only as long as necessary to keep the community safe.