On Monday 25th October Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner provided an update as to how the Territory will transition to home quarantine arrangements for fully vaccinated individuals.
Prior to doing so he reasserted that the vaccine is incredibly safe and effective and to not only get vaccinated for yourself but for all those around you. According to Michael the Territory is currently at 80% with 1 dose and 75% fully vaccinated.
He went on to state; “Covid is coming. We know it is coming”. Given he is so eerily certain that COVID will most defiantly be making its way to the NT, we would hope that the new quarantine program is enough of a defence against the virus to prevent any community transmission.
From Tuesday 26th October the Northern Territory Government will allow 100 returning Territorians to participate in a pilot quarantine program lasting 1 month. It will be an at home quarantine subject to the strictest testing and compliance conditions in the country.
Participants have to be fully vaccinated, agree to use the G2G app, have proof of a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before entering the Northern Territory and agree to be tested on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 12 and 17 following arrival. If there are other people living in the same address they also have to be fully vaccinated and get the same amount of PCR tests, although they are allowed to leave the address.
If the pilot program is successful the quarantine period will gradually reduce until early 2022 in which if all goes to plan there will be little to no quarantine required for those fully vaccinated with only testing remaining compulsory.
When quizzed as to why fully vaccinated people still had to quarantine, Gunner said they should consider it a reward as they no longer have to pay the mandatory $2500 to stay at the Government run quarantine facility at Howard Springs, stating this plan should catch COVID before an individual becomes infectious, so there is minimal risk of community transmission.
If Gunner’s state of the art quarantine systems fails and we do have to lockdown, he said in the future we are moving to a position where in the case of community transmission the unvaccinated need to be locked down and the vaccinated get to participate in the economy and society.