The Northern Territory has slammed its border with South Australia shut immediately and those arriving in Tasmania will have to quarantine as a COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide continues to grow.
There are now 17 cases of coronavirus in Adelaide’s north, prompting the closures of at least two schools and a fast-food restaurant.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner confirmed on Monday that the security committee met this morning to review the situation and decided to declare the entire state a hotspot.
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“All of the information that we are getting right now concerns us and there is still so much we don’t for about this outbreak. That is the critical point here,” Mr Gunner said.
“It is what we don’t know that worries us the most.”
Anyone arriving into the Northern Territory from South Australia this morning will be given the option to enter into quarantine or immediately return to South Australia.
Authorities admitted there are people flying into the territory right now who would have had no idea about the decision and will be caught off guard when they land.
“People who intend to travel here later today in South Australia will need to make a decision now – to stay there, or if they come here, to enter supervised quarantine,” Mr Gunner said.
“Because of this late notice, those who enter the Northern Territory today or tomorrow from South Australia will not need to pay the $2,500.
“We are casting a wide net right now .. and hopefully once we know more we can narrow the hotspot definition.
“For those caught up in this, I am sorry. No-one want these, but it was to be done.”
Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein also announced anyone who has arrived in the Apple Isle from South Australia since last Monday, November 9th, would have to immediately self isolate.
“If you are in a home residence to isolate there. If you are staying in accommodation, to go back to your hotel room and isolate there as well,” Premier Gutwein said.
“For those that would enter the state directly today from South Australia or on the Spirit of Tasmania early tomorrow morning and anyone else who has spent time in South Australia since Monday 8th, we will expect you to quarantine on your arrival today.
“That can be either at a residence or in your Hotel room that you are intending to stay in.
“At this stage, we are not elevating South Australia to medium risk, which would be the same level as Victoria is at. That being that anyone entering the state automatically into either hotel quarantine, if they don’t have a residence or if they are a Tasmanian returning two weeks quarantine in their home.
“However, I want to ensure that people are aware that there will be a further update this afternoon.”
The outbreak has also prompted Western Australia to reimpose restrictions on people travelling from SA.
All arrivals, by road or air, will now be required to have a COVID-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days.
Queensland authorities are expected to meet this morning to discuss the unfolding situation.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already hinted at a possible closure in a Tweet earlier this morning, urging anyone about to leave Adelaide to prepare for changes.
Anyone about to leave Adelaide should be advised we are assessing the COVID-19 outbreak and may place restrictions on travel, including mandatory quarantine on arrivals. More details will be announced shortly. #COVID19Aus
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) November 15, 2020
South Australian authorities are scrambling to get control of the fast-growing outbreak, setting up a pop-up testing station at suburban Parafield.
Students at the Mawson Lakes School and pre-school not to attend on Monday after a student was identified as a close contact of one of the positive cases.
The Thomas More College was also closed after a confirmed case and the Hungry Jacks outlet at Port Adelaide was shut.
It’s believed 15 of the 17 cases so far are all members of the same family.