The Australian Government is extending measures in place to protect remote communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak in the Northern Territory, in line with the local requirements announced by the Northern Territory Government.
As Minister for Health and Aged Care, I have made a Determination under section 477 of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 to prevent a person from entering or exiting:
- Utopia Homelands, Gunyangara and Wurrumiyanga until 2pm ACST, 29 January 2022
- Amoonguna until 2pm ACST, 30 January 2022
- Yuelamu and Yuendumu until 3pm ACST, 30 January 2022 and
- Elcho Island, including Galiwinku and Wessel Islands including Martjanba in the NT until 2pm ACST, 31 January 2022.
Restricting the movement of people in and out of these communities for only essential reasons for a period of time will help prevent further spread and allow time for testing.
The Australian Government continues to receive advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, informed by the experience of health care workers on the ground, representatives of the communities, and Northern Territory authorities.
I have taken this decision at the request of the Northern Territory Government and with the support of the critical stakeholders, including the Central Land Council, 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 Utopia Homelands, Gunyangara, Wurrumiyanga, Yuendumu, Yuelamu, Amoonguna, Elcho Island, including Galiwin’ku and Wessel Islands including Martjanba are encouraged to continue to follow their local Health Department directions, to be tested in the coming days and to get vaccinated if not already.
The measures will be in place only as long as necessary to keep the community safe.