A man from a New South Wales hotspot has been arrested for allegedly illegally crossing the Northern Territory border on foot and hitchhiking after abandoning his vehicle in a culvert, NT Police said.
Incident Controller Acting Commander Sachin Sharma said the 23-year-old man arrived at the Kulgera Border Control Point by vehicle on Monday where officers discovered that he had recently been in a current NSW hotspot.
Officers at the border advised the man that he would need to undertake a 14-day mandatory quarantine before entering the Territory.
Cmdr Sharma said the man chose not to enter the Territory and drove back towards South Australia.
But later that day, police located the man’s vehicle abandoned in a culvert approximately two kms south of the Kulgera Border Control Point.
Authorities searched for the man and he was located and arrested by police in Yulara.
Police believe the man crossed the border on foot and then hitchhiked.
Police said that initial investigations reveal that the man only spent a short amount of time in the region. He was tested for COVID-19 and returned a negative result and is currently undergoing quarantine in Alice Springs, Cmdr Sharma said.
“The vast majority of travellers have been very cooperative and it is disappointing to see some continue to risk other people’s safety,” he said.
“We will continue to pursue those who breach the directions of the NT Chief Health Officer.”
The man faces charges for contravening an emergency declaration and submitting a false statutory declaration.
He is scheduled to appear in Alice Springs Local Court September 28, 2020.
NT Police and Environmental Health Officers continue to undertake compliance activities.
The infringement penalty for failing to abide by the Chief Health Officer Directions is $5,056 for an individual and $25,280 for a business.
Of 32,391 compliance checks now completed, 150 fines have been issued, according to NT police.