Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) will keep its borders closed to coronavirus affected states for at least 18 months.
Australia is currently fighting a second wave in the south-east of the country, with close to 8,000 active cases in Melbourne and several small clusters in the Sydney area. The rest of the country has seen the virus virtually wiped out.
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister, has said that the travel restrictions will likely continue until late 2020.
Queensland recently re-closed its borders to New South Wales and ACT.
Officials in the sparsely-populated northern state, which hasn’t had an infection since May, said an “18-month window” preventing visitors arriving from virus hotspots was just a “conservative” forecast.
People can still enter the territory but must complete a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense and this had deterred many from visiting.
NT’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he was determined to prevent the spread of the deadly virus from Victoria and New South Wales and he would not commit to a date when the restrictions would be lifted.
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