Territorians in the Greater Darwin region and Alice Springs will no longer have to wear masks following the lifting of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions as of 1pm today, the NT Government has announced.
Territory Day will also now be celebrated on August 29, according to the Chief Minister’s decree.
The lifting of the restrictions follows 25,000 COVID-19 tests since June 26, the day before a week-long snap lockdown was ordered.
Health authorities said the lifting of restrictions was also possible due to no traces of the virus detected in wastewater sources.
Gyms and markets will be permitted to open and contact sports will also resume.
“This goes to show our lockdown has worked, we have the virus tracked, but also shows COVID is still very real, multiple testing is necessary to ensure we keep the community safe,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
The NT’s outbreak started at the Tanami gold mine northwest of Alice Springs where a worker tested positive for the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 after spending time in a Brisbane hotel quarantine facility.
A flight of 70 workers had landed in Darwin on June 25, along with a flight from the mine site to Alice Springs and flights across the country resulting in 19 confirmed cases Australia-wide from the same source.
Seven hundred workers at the mine site were also put into quarantine on location, with all returning negative results. All will going home tomorrow, the government said.
Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said he was pleased with the way the outbreak was handled in the Greater Darwin region.
“This is our first outbreak and we’ve managed to get control of this outbreak in one week,” he said.
Bur Dr Heggie warned that COVID-19 has not gone away and reminded Territorians there are still risks that can mitigated by remaining vigilant.
Territorians are still required to check in at local businesses.