NT revokes Brisbane hotspot declaration

Chief Minister Michael Gunner: the Northern Territory has lifted Queensland travel restrictions.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner: the Northern Territory has lifted Queensland travel restrictions.

Travel from Greater Brisbane to the Northern Territory is no longer restricted, with the NT government revoking its coronavirus hotspot declaration.

Anyone arriving from Brisbane from Friday had been required to enter mandatory supervised quarantine.

However Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced the revocation of the order from 11am on Monday.

Close to 400 people in quarantine since the Brisbane hotspot was declared were also being released.

The move came as Queensland announced an end to a three-day lockdown for Brisbane after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the more contagious UK variant of COVID-19.

"Obviously the fact there is no community transmission is the key reason we can remove the hotspots," Mr Gunner told reporters.

He said NT authorities were given extra confidence by Queensland's requirements for people from Greater Brisbane to wear masks when indoors or physically distance from others until January 22.

"We've always been clear that we do not hesitate to add new hotspots when the risk appears but equally when the evidence shows us the risk is removed we act as well," Mr Gunner added.

Brisbane's quick lockdown was a "pretty good example" of the NT would respond if faced with a similar situation.

"I remind and reassure Territorians that we do have procedures in place, we have pandemic plans that we practice, and if coronavirus ever does appear here ... we will lock down quick and hard," Mr Gunner said.

"Our threshold is low. One case will be enough for us."

There is no change to Greater Sydney hotspots declared earlier but Mr Gunner hoped "some good news there is not too far away".

Meanwhile, two men who allegedly told NT police they weren't from the Greater Brisbane area were charged with failing to declare they had been in a COVID-19 hotspot.

A 32-year-old from Cairns and a 61-year-old from Brisbane were issued with $5056 infringement notices and taken to the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility on Saturday, police said.

They were regarded as being of low risk to the community and were being tested.

People on flights from Brisbane into Darwin on Friday morning when the hotspot was declared were given the option of an immediate and free return flight.

They were also not required to pay a $2500 quarantine fee.

Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie apologised on Monday to those impacted by declaration of the Brisbane hotspot but said it had been a "proportionate approach".

Australian Associated Press