The Northern Territory has confirmed its effective ban of residents from Greater Sydney will continue until 28 August.
“That’s the earliest possible date before any change,” said chief minister Michael Gunner. “I make no promises about that date. If our borders need to stay closed, they will stay closed.”
The restrictions, which also includes the state of Victoria, mean that those who enter from ‘hotspot’ areas now have to stay in mandatory supervised isolation at the Howard Springs quarantine facility and will be charged $2,500.
Those from non-hotspot areas will be able to arrive without completing a period in isolation – though will be required to fill in an online border entry form 72 hours before travel.
“There is no end in sight right now in terms of when our border arrangements with Victoria will change. I would say it is months away at the least,” said Chief Minister Gunner.
“The situation there continues to be grim, confronting and tragic. I know we’re all thinking of friend and family in Melbourne right now. They are doing what needs to be done to get on top of this, not just to protect themselves, but ultimately to protect all of us.
“In recent weeks I think the entire nation got a reality check. Any hopes that we’d be through the crisis in a few short months have been dashed.
“Right now, we can’t see the finish line. We are all in this for the long haul. Coronavirus [is] not going anywhere, which means our hard borders are not going anywhere.”
Earlier on Monday, Australian Aviation reported that both Queensland and SA hardened their borders, too.
Queensland extended its effective border ban to the western Sydney City of Fairfield, in addition to restrictions on those travelling from Campbelltown, Liverpool and the entire state of Victoria.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also insisted she would not hesitate to “slam the borders shut” to all of NSW if COVID-19 resurges there.
“If the chief health officer gives me advice for a hard border closure with NSW, we will not hesitate to do that,” Premier Palaszczuk said. “Every single day we are monitoring what is happening in NSW.”
The news comes after South Australia on Friday moved to ban anyone from Victoria from entering their state – including SA residents looking to return home.