Despite never recording a case of coronavirus from community transmission, the NT Government will now force Territorians to “check-in” at venues by providing their personal details.
Anyone visiting a long list of businesses will have to provide their name and phone number as well as log the date and time of entry if they wish to spend more than 15 minutes in the business.
The changes will come into effect November 30 and will be implemented as the NT opens up to all of Australia – with Melbourne expected to have its hotspot status lifted by Christmas.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the new “COVID-safe check-in system” was necessary to keep the NT “ahead of the game”.
“We will now bolster our contract tracing regime,” Mr Gunner said at a press conference Monday morning.
“As we have more and more visitors to the Territory it makes sense to add another layer of protection to our defence against coronavirus – just in case, just to be extra safe.
“This is not because the risk to the Territory has increased. This is about planning ahead and staying ahead.”
The list of businesses includes bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as hairdressers, beauty services such as nail salons, health centres, gyms, libraries and art galleries and tourism operations, among many others.
Details of how the information will be collected is still being worked out, Mr Gunner said.
He said the personal details of Territorians could include electronic collection by a QR code system or by a “pen and paper system”.
The NT chief health officer will be releasing further details later this month as the NT Government works with businesses to roll out the new requirements.
“We will now get more feedback in the next few weeks and refine the proposed rules,” Mr Gunner said, adding that compliance checks will be undertaken.
“Just like last time, enforcement will not be their first action, and we’ll work with businesses and organisations to help get the compliance.”