Will 14 day self isolation strand bush visitors in Alice?


Stuart Highway roadblock between Colonel Rose Drive and the Adelaide turn-off.

People are permitted to travel from bush communities to Alice Springs without undergoing 14 days of self-isolation because it is not a “designated area”.
However, as their home communities are likely to be “designated areas,” quarantine is mandatory before the person can return home.
We put this to Covid Media at 7.08pm yesterday and asked: “Is that correct?”
We have not received a reply by the time of publishing this, despite a reminder notice emailed at 10.40am today.
This scenario could get people stuck in town if they are unable or unwilling to undergo 14 days of self-isolation.
We also raised an apparent contradiction between the NT Government’s COVIT-19 online information and a spokesperson’s comment about people entering the NT.
As we reported on March 26, 5.50pm, visitors are told: “You must self-quarantine at the nearest available suitable accommodation.”
That is in direct conflict with what the spokesperson told us yesterday, namely that there can be “overnight stops … along the way to their final destination where they will self-quarantine for the required 14-days”.
It is claimed that travellers are permitted to nominate Darwin as the place for self-quarantine, passing a great number of “suitable accommodation” facilities along the 1790 km journey from the SA border.
We will report responses from Covid Media when and it they come to hand.
UPDATE 2.30pm
Chief Minister Michael Gunner made an announcement in a media statement about visitors from interstate a short while ago. He said in part:
From midnight on Wednesday, people entering the Territory from interstate – including Territorians returning home – will be required to spend 14 days in forced quarantine, not self-quarantine.
The rule that apply to overseas arrivals will now apply to all arrivals.
You will be directed straight to a hotel that is secured by us and guarded by us. And you will stay in your room for 14 days.
And from midnight on Friday… you will go into forced quarantine, but we will not be paying the bill.
And if you are starting to think I don’t want you here, you’re right. Do not come here. We do not want you here. Sorry, but not right now.
To those who say just close the borders completely: Frankly, that’s what I want to do. And if I had the power to do it, I’d do it right now.
But we are at the very limit of what we can legally do here.


  1. I think there is a way to beat the 14 days isolation system.
    Hypothetically, if I work in a bush community for 14 days, I am in isolation in regard of the town.
    I come back to Alice for 14 days in isolation in regard of my community, then I can go back to the community because my work commitment is important.
    In my opinion you go and stay with your community or you stay in town.

  2. Interestingly with the slightly different rules in the NT, I have yet to see one advertisement on TV either explaining the NT rules or even mentioning COVID-19 rules and precautions.
    Am I watching the wrong channels?
    In this state of unrest and confusion, it would be very helpful if the TV stations did some community advertising.
    Who pays for it? Well us the taxpayer, but that’s OK under these circumstances.

  3. Mr Gunner, dare I say you are perhaps over the limit of what you can do already.
    You may have a small crowd of the fearful supporting your draconian overreach, but most will see you for what you are: A socialist who is taking freedom and personal responsibility away from Territorians.
    We are accustomed to being forced to stay at home by your complacent, criminal youth run streets – no need to for you to actively make it worse.

  4. Watchn: Not many tourist are desperate to come to the NT right now. Nothing to see or do.
    Everything closed and cancelled. This WILL impact returning Territorians.
    A thorough system of managing at home isolation should be sufficient except in the most extreme of circumstances.

  5. When is everyone going to stop calling it social distancing / isolation?
    We don’t want people to socially isolate or distance themselves. It’s about physical separation and distancing.
    Who started calling it social distancing anyway?


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