NT border controls to remain for 18 months

Aaron BunchAAP
Michael Gunner says Northern Territory 'hotspot' border controls could stay for another 18 months.
Camera IconMichael Gunner says Northern Territory 'hotspot' border controls could stay for another 18 months.

The Northern Territory's border controls on visitors from coronavirus hotspots have been locked in until 2022 with locals told to cancel their Christmas travel plans and stay home.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says extra police and health officials will be recruited to monitor arrivals from COVID-19 hotspots, including Victoria and Sydney.

"We will have hard border controls in place for at least the next 18 months," he told the ABC on Tuesday.

Mr Gunner also urged Territorians to scrap their travel bookings and stay home.

"Cancel your Christmas holiday plans. Stay here," he said.

The tough-on-borders pledge comes amid a tight Top End election, with voting already underway.

TerritoryAlliance leader Terry Mills says Mr Gunner should stop the spin and follow Queensland's lead by actually closing the NT to all travellers from NSW

"Other states have recognised the danger of NSW clusters and have closed their borders," he said in a statement

"Yet (Mr) Gunner continues to have that border open and then foolishly spruiks that borders here in the NT will be closed for another 18 months.

"Simply ridiculous and unbelievable".

MrMills called for more testing of visitors to the Territory and travelbubbleswithSouthAustralia,TasmaniaandWesternAustralia.

Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro says Mr Gunner had politicised the crisis and was trying to scare Territorians into voting for him.

"He cannot be so careless and reckless with his language," she told reporters.

"A chief minister should know better."

Travellers arriving into the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot must undertake 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at a cost of $2500.

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