Northern Territory plunged into snap lockdown

Parts of the Northern Territory will go into a snap lockdown from 12 noon (ACST) today.

The Darwin rural area and the town of Katherine will be in a three-day lockdown, after a new case of COVID-19 was detected.

The positive case is a man in his 30s.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the man had travelled into Sydney from overseas and had quarantined for 14 days, before coming to the NT for work.

It is assumed the man has the Delta variant.

Mr Gunner said it was unclear how the man caught the virus.

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Several close contacts have already been identified, including a taxi driver and an uber driver.

The infected man flew from Sydney to Darwin, via Canberra Airport.

He landed in Darwin on Thursday, travelling by taxi to the Hilton Hotel on Mitchell Street.

Mr Gunner said the man had passed a quarantine coronavirus test in Sydney and was later tested in the NT on Sunday, following his arrival and three days after his hotel quarantine.

The man then hired a car and drove to Katherine. His positive test was returned last night.

"We have made the decision to lock down fast because of what we do not know," he said.

"We do not yet know the variant of this virus, we are assuming it is the Delta strain, critically, we do not know the source of infection.

"We don't know if you caught it in hotel quarantines during his time at Canberra Airport, or at any other time during his transit."

The infectious man is now in isolation in a Katherine hotel but will be transferred to Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience today.

"He is asymptomatic," Mr Gunner said.

While the man's contact in the community was described as "limited" by Mr Gunner, he said "it was extensive enough to greatly concern us".

The taxi driver and uber driver who picked up the man as a customer have been out working shifts in the days since.

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There are five reasons people in the NT lockdown can leave home:

– Medical treatment including COVID-19 vaccination and treatment

– To buy essential goods and services like groceries and medicines

– Work considered essential and can't be done at home

– One hour of exercise a day, with one other person or the people that you live with, and no further than five kilometers from your home

– Provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves

Schools in the locked down areas will be shut for the children of essential workers only.

The same applies to child care centres.

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There are five close contact sites – four in Darwin and one in Katherine.

Friday

Darwin Mini Mart on Smith Street, Darwin CBD

Salvatores, Darwin CBD

Saturday

Outback Steak and Curry restaurant on Mitchell Street, Darwin CBD

Darwin Mini Mart on Smith Street, Darwin CBD

Sunday

Knotts Crossing Resort in Katherine

The NT government will again deploy the $1000 business lockdown grant.

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