Northern Territory Descends Into 'Lockout' For The Unvaccinated
Covid cases escalating
ABC News/Michael Franchi
The Northern Territory has plunged into a snap "lockout" after reporting 256 new infections on Thursday.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the spike in cases is the highest daily record for the jurisdiction since the pandemic started.
"Today's escalation in case numbers is concerning," Mr Gunner said. "Our community transmission rate has grown in recent days."
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The "Territory-wide lockout" for the unvaccinated will start from 1pm today until noon on Monday, when a vaccine pass system will be introduced.
"If you are not fully vaxxed, stay home. You are at greater risk of catching Covid, getting ill and needing hospital care."
"The fully vaccinated can continue as they were. For people who are not vaccinated, lockdown rules will apply to everyone aged 16 and above," Mr Gunner said.
The vaccine pass Gurner said was "not radical — other states have already brought it in".
The pass requires Territorians to link their vaccination status to the Territory Check-In app, which would light up green when checking into venues.
The NT's vaccine pass will be needed to enter high-risk settings, including pubs, clubs, casinos, restaurants, cinemas and ticketed events for more than 500 people in urban centres and more than 100 in non-urban centres.
Mask remain mandatory for all Territorians, regardless of vaccination status.
Meantime, the minister has announced that people in the NT are still required to confirm their positive rapid antigen result with a PCR test.
"To maintain our caseload, to manage it within our health system, we need to keep our case numbers steady.”
"We are assuming half of the cases are Delta at the moment for decision-making but it’s growing more evident that ... this is a conservative assumption as [it’s] more likely a quarter of [cases are] Delta,” the minister said.
"We are transitioning between Delta and Omicron. Our priority is to keep community transmission low, and hospital caseloads manageable.”
There are currently 23 people in hospital with Covid, while two are in the ICU.
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