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COVID-19 Q&A's

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A's provide answers to frequently asked questions by the industry. 

If you are seeking information regarding travel in the Northern Territory including border restrictions, remote and community travel, call 1800 518 189. 

Easing of restrictions in the Northern Territory

What does this involve?

Interstate border restrictions to the NT were removed on Friday 17 July, other than for arrivals from an area that has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot. Hotspots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine/hotspots-covid-19.

Persons arriving to the NT from hotspots will be required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine at a Territory Government approved facility at their own cost. Mandatory supervised quarantine will be at the Howard Springs quarantine facility or another approved facility elsewhere in the Territory.

All businesses are required to complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to ensure they are operating within physically distancing and hygiene guidelines. This includes businesses that have already reopened or remained open throughout.

What must I do in order for my business to re-open?

All businesses need to complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist.

You may need to complete multiple forms dependant on which services you offer. 

Once you submit your checklist(s), you will immediately be emailed a summary of your submission which you can use/ display as an interim approval until you receive a statement of commitment. This may take up to 14 days.

An environmental health officer may visit you in the coming weeks to carry out a compliance check to ensure you are meeting your responsibilities as outlined in your COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist.

If you have already reopened, your business is still required to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist.

Complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist online: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/steps-to-restart/business

Arrivals in the NT

Are NT border restrictions still in place?

Mandatory quarantine arrangements are no longer in place for interstate arrivals, other than persons arriving from an area that has been declared a coronavirus hotspot.

All people seeking to enter the NT must fill in a Border Arrival Form. This form is available online at coronavirus.nt.gov.au and at border access points.

Territory borders will remain closed to areas declared COVID-19 hotspots until further notice. Hot spots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au.

Persons arriving to the NT from hot spot areas will be required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine at a Territory Government approved facility at their own cost. Mandatory supervised quarantine will be at the Howard Springs quarantine facility or another approved facility elsewhere in the Territory.

Persons arriving in the NT from declared coronavirus hotspots must complete travel to an approved quarantine facility as quickly as possible, which must be no later than 72 hours after entry.

For more information, go to https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine

When will NT border restrictions be lifted?

Interstate border restrictions were removed from Friday 17 July, other than for arrivals from an area that has been declared a Coronavirus hotspot.

Territory borders will remain closed to areas declared COVID-19 hotspots until further notice. Hot spots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au.

Mandatory supervised quarantine for hotspot arrivals

All people seeking to enter the NT must fill in a Border Arrival Form. This form is available online at coronavirus.nt.gov.au and at border access points.

Persons arriving to the NT from hotspot areas will be required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine at a Territory Government approved facility at their own cost. Mandatory supervised quarantine will be at the Howard Springs quarantine facility or another approved facility elsewhere in the Territory. The cost per person for supervised quarantine is $2500.

Hotspots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au
 
Making a false statement in a statutory declaration is an offence that carries significant penalties, including a fine and possible prison term of up to 3 years. 

For more details, go to https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine

What areas are declared Coronavirus hotspots?

Hotspots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au

Can I enter the NT if travelling through a declared Coronavirus hotspot?

 A person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot if the person has been in a COVID-19 hotspot only in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • the person travelled through the hotspot in or on a motor vehicle, public transport or a bicycle and did not leave the vehicle, disembark the public transport or dismount the bicycle while in the hotspot;
  • the person was only at an airport located in a hotspot;
  • the person travelled through the hotspot by motor vehicle, public transport or bicycle directly to or from an airport located in a hotspot and did not leave the vehicle, disembark the public transport or dismount the bicycle while in the hotspot except to enter the airport.
I’m a Territorian returning to the Territory – can I quarantine at my home?

No. Persons arriving to the NT from coronavirus declared hotspots will be required to undertake mandatory enforced quarantine at a Territory Government approved facility at their own cost.

Domestic and International Travel

Can I still travel domestically?

The Chief Minister has asked Territorians to reconsider any non-essential travel outside the Territory at this time.

Territory borders will remain closed to areas declared COVID-19 hotspots until further notice. Hot spots will be identified by State or Territory Governments, or by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, with updates listed on coronavirus.nt.gov.au.

For more information, go to https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/domestic-travel

Can I travel internationally?

There is a ban on Australians travelling overseas, implemented on 25 March.

Mandatory supervised quarantine will continue for international arrivals for the foreseeable future. Persons arriving to the NT will be required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine at a Territory Government approved facility at their own cost.

What is the contact number for travel enquiries?

Call 1800 518 189 if you are seeking information regarding travel in the Northern Territory including border restrictions, remote and community travel.

Intra-Territory Travel

Can I travel within the Territory?

Yes, internal biosecurity zone controls were lifted 5 June 2020. 

Are Uluru and Kakadu open?

Parks Australia have confirmed that Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will reopen in a staged manner from 19 June.

For more details, go to https://parksaustralia.gov.au/

Business Support

I have questions about the support available for my business

Call the Business Enterprise Centre NT on 08 8923 6133

Call the Chamber of Commerce NT COVID-19 business support hotline on 08 8982 8188

Advice for Operators

General enquiries relating to your business

For questions specific to your business, contact the NT Government's business hotline 1800 193 111 from 8am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Can I refuse service to guests / customers if they appear to be sick?

You have the right to ask visitors, guests and customers to provide information in advance about whether they have flu-like symptoms, have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have travelled internationally in the last 14 days.

Visas

Can I temporarily move a sponsored employee to work in a different occupation or make changes to the work duties during COVID-19?

Temporary sponsored employees (i.e. holders of subclass 457 and Temporary Skill Shortage Visa subclass 482) have conditions on their visas requiring them to be employed with their sponsoring employer in the nominated occupation. 

Breach of these conditions can lead to visa cancellation, and can also place the business in breach of its sponsorship obligations. 

However, taking adverse actions against visa holders and/or employers for breach is discretionary on the Department of Home Affairs, and all circumstances will be taken into account in making such decisions. 

My sponsored overseas employees cannot return to work due to travel restrictions, what are my obligations? 

If you opt to keep the positions for your employees open, you can do so. The employees will not be in breach of conditions if they are on approved paid or unpaid leave, provided that any such leave does not exceed 12 months.

If the visa holders are no longer employed by your business, you should notify the Department of Home Affairs in writing. 

I have had to lay off sponsored employees due to the COVID-19 crisis. What will happen to their visas?

Temporary sponsored visa holders will technically be in breach of visa conditions if they are not employed with their sponsoring business for more than 60 days and this can lead to visa cancellation. However, if they are on approved leave with or without pay, they will generally not be in breach, provided that the leave does not exceed 12 months. Cancelling visas for breach is discretionary on the Department of Home Affairs and all circumstances will be taken into account in making such decisions.

Are visa holders who have lost jobs due eligible for any welfare support?

Visa holders who are on permanent visas (e.g. holders of Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme subclass 187, permanent skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190) are eligible for Centrelink payments such as the Job Seeker Allowance. The normal waiting period of 4 years to qualify will be waived for some payments. 

Unfortunately at this stage, there is no welfare support available for temporary visa holders. 

Visa holders who wish to seek alternative employment can register themselves on the Territory Jobs Hub, which can be accessed via cited.com.au/territory-jobs-hub/. 

For specific migration queries in relation to your migrant workforce, please contact the MigrationNT team direct on either Tel: 89995264 or email [email protected]

What Tourism NT is doing

What is Tourism NT doing?

The most important thing we can do right now, is to assist our industry to access the range of business support packages made available for them.

We have launched an intra-Territory campaign to encourage locals to get out and enjoy their backyard while supporting local tourism operators. 

The ‘Time to be a Territorian’ campaign will showcase the Territory’s unique experiences that we often take for granted while highlighting what Territorians do best - support each other.

The intra-Territory campaign is the first step in a planned marketing approach which will be launched in stages as further restrictions are eased, enabling tourism businesses to sustainably start to open their doors, with the next steps being to build tourism demand across the country ensuring that the Territory’s tourism industry can fully recover as soon as border restrictions allow travel to resume. We are also working hard in coordination with Tourism Australia, the domestic travel trade, our interstate media and international trade partners to ensure the Territory is ready for the recovery phase, by continuing to build demand and then be back in market driving crucial bookings as soon as we're able.

What about the business events sector? PCOs, event management, exhibition?

Northern Territory Business Events (NTBE) is actively working with domestic and international business events planners to encourage postponement of confirmed business events, rather than cancel, to ensure the NT business events sector will benefit, once the market recovers. Whilst the situation is continually evolving, this forms a critical part of NTBE’s forward planning to ensure volume visitation into the Territory, at a time when it will be most needed by the local business events sector.

Contacts

I have questions about the support available for my business

Call the Business Enterprise Centre NT on 08 8923 6133

Call the Chamber of Commerce hotline on 08 8982 8188

I have questions about gatherings or events

Call the gatherings and events hotline on 1800 518 055

I need to arrange COVID-19 testing

Call the NT hotline on 1800 008 002.

If you live in Darwin and need to arrange testing, call the Public Health Unit on 8922 8044.

Page last updated on 21 September 2020