Northern Land Council update on permits

[by Leah McLennan]

 Image: supplied

Restrictions on travel to and from remote communities in the Northern Territory were lifted on Friday 5 June 2020.

 

Those restrictions began on 26 March 2020 and applied to 76 Aboriginal communities and homelands across the NT. Remote residents wishing to return to their communities will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days. Strict social distancing rules and hygiene protocols remain in place.

 

On 14 March 2020 the NLC Executive Council determined that all existing non-essential permits would be suspended and no new non-essential permits would be granted.

 

For the foreseeable future, the NLC will not be issuing individual recreational permits to enter Aboriginal land.

 

To be clear, tour operators with permits issued pursuant to s.19 ALRA agreements and that were suspended after 14 March 2020 can now apply for permits. It is expected that these arrangements will remain in place until the Human Biosecurity Emergency period expires on 17 September 2020. All permit applicants are still required to complete a COVID-19 travel declaration form, available at the NLC website.

 

NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour (pictured above) said it was important that we all remain vigilant to the return of COVID-19.

 

“We have been very lucky in the Northern Territory - there have been no COVID-19 cases in any remote communities or homelands. But we also know from the secondary outbreaks overseas that COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease and can come back at anytime and anywhere.

 

“That is why we have to stay strong and we have to keep on doing the things - social distancing and proper hygiene practices - that have kept our mob safe so far.”

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