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The Northern Territory will reopen its borders to interstate travellers on July 17

Photo: NT to reopen interstate borders on July 17
The Northern Territory, with no cases for 28 days, will reopen its borders to interstate travellers from July 17 as southern coronavirus infections reduce.

The Northern Territory will reopen its borders to interstate travellers on July 17, nearly four months after they were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday marked 28 days since the last of the 30 people to have COVID-19 in the Territory recovered, a period of time NT Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie had recommended as it represented two 14-day incubation periods of the virus.

From 12.01am on July 17, people who enter the Territory from other states will no longer have to go into quarantine.

It also means Territorians will be able to travel to the rest of Australia to see friends and family without having to serve 14 days' quarantine on their return.
From Monday this week, quarantine restrictions eased in the NT with interstate arrivals allowed to self-isolate in a place of their choosing rather than going into government-monitored quarantine with a $2500 hotel bill, which had been in place since March 24.

"Today marks 28 days since the last coronavirus patient recovered; that means today the Northern Territory officially eradicated coronavirus. It is the first and only place in Australia to do so and the safest place in Australia without question," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

"This morning, I met again with the chief health officer who provided me with the final advice that 10 days after the (Black Lives Matters) mass gatherings, the community transmission is now tracking at an acceptable risk level."

This means the NT will be back to where it was in mid-March, with hospitality venues and tourism destinations such as Kakadu and Uluru open again although overseas visitors would still have to go into quarantine.

Mr Gunner rejected any suggestions the damage to the economy and loss of thousands of jobs had been too severe, saying there were predictions at one stage of 2000 Territorians possibly being killed by COVID-19.

There have been no deaths in the NT out of the 102 in Australia.

"Let's also remember what didn't happen because of our hard borders, Territorians didn't die; everywhere else, people died," he said.

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