HomeNT lockdown: Katherine enters 72hr lockdown after first Covid transmission, Darwin lockout

NT lockdown: Katherine enters 72hr lockdown after first Covid transmission, Darwin lockout

Katherine has entered an emergency 72-hour lockdown after the Northern Territory recorded its first case of community transmission.

The Katherine region in the Northern Territory has entered an emergency 72-hour lockdown over one case of coronavirus.

It’s the NT’s first case of community transmission of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The man is an unvaccinated contract worker in his 20s on RAAF Base Tindal in Katherine, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters at an emergency press conference on Thursday night.

He developed symptoms on Tuesday and tested positive on Thursday evening. He had not recently travelled outside of the NT.

“That means he caught the virus inside the Territory,” Mr Gunner said.

“We do not know where, when or how this man became infected.”

Mr Gunner said Katherine, about 320km southeast of Darwin, and its surrounding municipality including Tindal, would go into three-day lockdown starting at 12.01am on Friday.

At the same time, Greater Darwin will enter its first “lockout” – a lockdown that applies only to unvaccinated people.

Under the 72-hour lockout, vaccinated people can continue to be active in the community but must wear a mask outside.

Unvaccinated people must comply with lockdown restrictions, and can only leave their home for the “permitted” five reasons.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people must stay within the Greater Darwin region for three days.

Unvaccinated people cannot leave Greater Darwin or go to their workplace, even if they are essential workers.

Customers must check-in to businesses using QR codes and also will be required to show their vaccination certificate.

Children, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, are still allowed to attend school, childcare and sport, but unvaccinated parents cannot enter school grounds.

Mr Gunner said he wouldn’t rule out a full lockdown of Darwin “if circumstances change”.

Residents in the lockdown area are only permitted to leave their home for one of the following five reasons:

  1. Medical treatment, including getting a Covid-19 test or getting vaccinated
  2. For essential goods and services, like groceries and medicines
  3. For work that is considered essential and can’t be done at home
  4. For one hour of exercise a day, with one other person or the people that you live with, and no further than five kilometres from your home
  5. To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves. This includes separated families sharing the care of children

All businesses, retail outlets, hospitality venues, gyms, pools and community centres will be closed.

Cafes and restaurants are limited to take-away and delivery only.

Schools and childcare centres will be closed except for the children of essential workers.

Anyone caught breaching directions – including not wearing a mask – faces a $5000 fine.

A further update is expected this morning.

More to come.


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