A new jab rule has been introduced for Australian travellers into the Northern Territory, after it experienced an outbreak due to a loophole.
Travellers will need to be fully vaccinated before they can enter the Northern Territory under a new mandate to begin from Monday.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced only double-vaccinated people could enter the territory on Saturday, saying people who chose not to get the jab were “no longer welcome”.
All travellers must also provide a negative test result 72 hours before they arrive.
Previously, travellers from green zones did not need to be vaccinated but the Top End leader said that loophole was closed because the most recent outbreak reminded authorities that Covid came from everywhere.
“We have to be vigilant … Unvaccinated people from green zones are more of a risk to us than fully vaccinated people from red zones,” he said.
“As you know, the genomic sequencing confirms the outbreak we are dealing with in Katherine started from a person arriving from Queensland. The person had been to Victoria and hadn’t told us.
“It was easy for this to spread because, an arrival from a green zone, there is no requirement for the person to be vaccinated or take a test.
“She was not vaccinated, had not been tested (and) has been allowed into the territory. She did not mean to (spread Covid), but she did.
“If we stopped (her) from entering the Territory based on the vaccination status, or tested her on arrival, there would be no spread of Covid-19.”
Under the news rules that come into effect on November 22, those who are double-jabbed from red zone areas, like Victoria and NSW, can enter the Top End and will only need to undergo seven days of home quarantine as well as testing.
Mr Gunner said the success of the home quarantine pilot program proved to authorities that the risk could be managed.
“The pilot program has taught us that arrivals from red zones who are fully vaccinated and get tested before and after they arrived, the risk of spread in the Territory is very low,” he said.
The chief minister warned those who were not fully vaccinated and tried to enter would be fined and immediately turned around.
There was just one new Covid-19 case was recorded in the Territory on Saturday.
The 31-year-old vaccinated woman was a close contact of a confirmed case and was already put into quarantine.
No new exposure list have been listed.
Mr Gunner said current vaccination trends suggested the Top End would reach its 80 per cent double-dose target next week.