Destinations

NT flags reopening for Greater Sydney residents, as Qantas prepares to increase services

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The Northern Territory will reopen its borders to residents from Sydney from Friday 9 October, provided the city’s coronavirus case numbers remain low.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters that the decision to revoke the Greater Sydney area’s hotspot status had been influenced by health advice relating to the “sustained downward trend” of cases in Sydney, successful contact tracing, and a high rate of testing.

Since 17 July, travellers from the Greater Sydney area have been required to undertake 14 days of quarantine, at their own cost (with low-income earners eligible to apply for reduced fees), upon arrival to the NT.

Minister Gunner said the NT government would closely monitor coronavirus cases in the region ahead of the territory’s planned reopening to Sydney on 9 October.

“The testing being done and the links of almost all new cases, the known clusters, gives us a high degree of confidence that there are no unknown outbreaks occurring,” he said.

“If things change [and] the trend goes back up in Sydney, we will not hesitate to keep their hotspot status in place for as long as we need to.”

In the past 24 hours to 8pm Monday, NSW recorded seven new coronavirus cases, four of which were from returned travellers in hotel quarantine, two locally acquired from a known cluster of cases, and one that was also locally acquired but remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, Qantas is preparing to increase its services to Darwin from Sydney as of 9 October, with daily, direct flights set to resume then, a spokeswoman from the airline confirmed to Travel Weekly.

The news comes also comes as Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles yesterday revealed the territory has clinically eradicated coronavirus for the second time, with its last case recorded on 31 July.

To meet the definition for clinical eradication, according to ABC News, there needs to be no new recorded cases for 28 days since the last recovered case of the virus.

Minister Fyles reiterated that while the NT had hit the clinical definition of eradication the territory was, and still is, aiming for a suppression strategy of the coronavirus.

“I do believe we will see COVID-19 in the Territory, but we are well prepared to deal with that,” she told reporters.

“In terms of the eradication, we may see cases again in the NT but we have the resources in place, the testing, the contact tracing, to keep Territorians safe, to contain and suppress that outbreak.”

Fyles also backed the territory government’s plan to remove the hotspot declaration for Metropolitan Sydney on 9 October, provided case numbers in the area continue to trend down.

Furthermore, when asked if Darwin’s Howard Springs quarantine facility could be used to repatriate Australians stranded overseas due to coronavirus, Fyles said the government was “certainly open” to the idea, as reported by ABC News.

According to the national broadcaster, the prospect of using the facility to quarantine international arrivals is being pushed by federal Labor MP Luke Gosling, who has suggested Howard Springs could be a solution to Australian citizens being denied entry to the country.


Featured image source: ABC News



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Events

Collette wraps up its first travel forum in two years

The tour operator hosted top sellers, partners, key travel players and media friends (that’s us!) for poolside shenanigans in sunny Cairns.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“Travel is the great educator”: Collette CEO Dan Sullivan on why we need travel now more than ever

We spent the past few days sipping mojitos by the pool in Cairns… Oh, and attending Collette’s travel forum! Here’s proof we were listening.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“It’s our shout”: Flight Centre is giving away free holidays!

The travel giant is giving away 40 holidays to celebrate its 40th Birthday! Nobody tell them that it’s usually the other way around…

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

QT Newcastle signature restaurant and bar revealed!

It might seem like we’re calling Newcastle a ‘cutie’ but rest assured, our cutest NSW city award still goes to Griffith.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 concluded and next year’s location revealed!

The rumours are that next year’s event will have twice as many arancini balls and half the day will be dedicated to playing Mario Kart. Bear in mind our source for this was a 6 year old boy…

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Japan gets closer to reopening its border with experimental group tours

Don’t worry, the fact that the tours are operating is what makes them experimental. You won’t have to remember your high school science skills for a trip to Japan (at least we don’t think so).

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Do you want to explore South Australia? Complete a few training modules for your chance at a famil!

The team at South Australian Tourism Commission has your next holiday sorted with a famil offering for travel agents and product managers.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

ATEC tickled pink with Labor Party tourism funding promise

As professional journalists, we at Travel Weekly remain completely unbiased when it comes to political matters. However, we’re just going to leave this here…

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“The time is right”: industry legend, Barry Mayo, retires after 60+ years in travel

We think we speak for everyone when we say we can’t imagine an Australian travel industry without this industry stalwart!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism Western Australia partners with AAT Kings and showcases WA wildlife to Sydney

Rumours are that part of the collaboration deal is that the AAT execs all get free camel rides whenever they want, which we completely understand.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Humans of Antarctica

Travel Weekly joined Aurora Expeditions for an Antarctic circle expedition and met some amazing travellers who waited over two years for the adventure.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre scores whopping government contract

Work for Flight Centre? Your tax dollars could now be contributing to your own salary, according to our vague understanding of the ATO.

Share

CommentComments