25 Jan 2021
The NT Chief Health Officer is closely monitoring the situation in New Zealand after a woman tested positive for a South African COVID-19 variant after leaving hotel quarantine.
New Zealand is on alert and has listed a number of locations of interest across Whangarei and Ruakaka on the North Island near Auckland from 14-22 January 2022, and has expanded testing and contact tracing in the region.
As a precautionary measure, the NT Centre for Disease Control has contacted the 55 people who have arrived in the Northern Territory from New Zealand in the past 14 days.
The Chief Health Officer has also taken the precaution of directing all those people that have visited the locations listed as being of interest in New Zealand to have a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine until a negative test result is returned. It is expected that this Direction will apply to a very small number of people. A full list of New Zealand Locations of Interest can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz
The Australian Government has suspended the safe travel zone with New Zealand for 72 hours while further information is received and assessed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) made up of the nation’s Chief Health Officers. There are no direct flights to the Northern Territory from New Zealand.
The Chief Health Officer will continue to review and assess the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand and take into account the effectiveness of the COVID-19 controls in place, and the potential risks to the NT community.
The risk of COVID-19 in our communities cannot be completely eliminated, which is why it is important for everyone to follow all health directions.
· If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not travel. Make sure you get tested and stay at home.
· Maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres at all times.
· Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser regularly.
· Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Put your tissue in the bin straight away.
· Do not go to work if you feel sick.
· If you have symptoms, get tested.
To stay up to date with the latest information visit www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Charles Pain
“This is about taking a precautionary approach while we watch and see what happens in New Zealand and what controls are put in place.
“All the people who arrived in the Northern Territory from New Zealand in the past 14 days have been contacted by the Centre of Disease Control and those people who have been to the locations listed as being of interest are required to get tested and self-quarantine.
“While the risk is low to the Northern Territory, it is important that we take the necessary steps to keep our community safe particularly as this case involves a more infectious strain of COVID-19.
“I will continue to monitor and review the situation in New Zealand and will not hesitate to declare a hotspot if one is required to protect the NT community.”