One state is looking at restrictions with a recently Covid-hit jurisdiction despite borders opening next week.
South Australia could close its border with the Northern Territory despite plans to open up next week after the Top End had a spike in Covid-19 cases on Tuesday.
SA Police issued a brief statement on Tuesday afternoon alongside SA Health, saying the border arrangement is being reviewed in response to the nine new cases that presented in Katherine.
“South Australians travelling through the Northern Territory are encouraged to limit their activities to transiting through Katherine and the surrounding areas,” the statement read.
NT Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy is at the centre of the most recent NT outbreak, with nine of her relatives having contracted the virus.
Her sister was the first person to test positive in the remote Robinson River area.
State borders are due to open to all jurisdictions on November 23 once 80 per cent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.
Currently, 74.7 per cent of South Australians aged 16-years and older have been double jabbed, while 85.6 per cent have had at least one dose.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, who is also the state co-ordinator, spoke on morning radio and said vaccination was the most important thing to help keep businesses open and reduce the impact on the state’s health system.
“In the first instance — between the 80 and 90 per cent (vaccination rates) — we have to have a different level of response than what we would after 90 per cent,” he said
“We’re stepping our way through the introduction of Covid-19 into our community. We don’t know how it’s going to go.
“We need to make sure that people who need medical assistance have access to that medical support and we need to know we’re controlling the spread of Covid-19.”
It comes as NT police caught a man who allegedly provided a false declaration on his border entry form and did not immediately enter isolation.
Dion Cooper, 23, allegedly entered the NT through Camooweal on Monday and was required to complete 14 days of quarantine after arriving from NSW, a declared Covid-19 hotspot.
Incident controller Lauren Hill said Mr Cooper’s alleged actions breached the chief health officer’s directions but also created unnecessary risk for the broader community.
“We are currently experiencing community transmission and this sort of reckless disregard is not acceptable,” she said.