Quarantining pair ‘went on cruise’ instead
Police in the Northern Territory are "extremely" disappointed after multiple breaches of coronavirus restrictions including a pair who went on a cruise instead of staying in quarantine.
The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman arrived in the territory from Melbourne on Friday.
"They were granted an exemption for work purposes, to collect a vehicle and then leave the NT, under the condition that while not at work they were subject to quarantine," the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services said in a statement on Tuesday.
"It was brought to the attention of police that the pair had attended a boat cruise in Kakadu National Park while not working.
"Police contacted the 47-year-old man, who had already left the NT, and advised he would receive an infringement notice in the mail."
Officers are still trying to contact the woman to issue her an infringement notice for $1099.
Three other fines were issued by police on Monday for people failing to abide by the public health directions made by NT chief health officer Dr Hugh Heggie.
One of these was a 30-year-old woman, who was supposed to be in quarantine, found working at a community store in the Arnhem Land community of Ngukurr.
Police said she arrived in the territory on June 16, travelling from Melbourne via Brisbane.
She has been taken to Katherine to complete her quarantine.
Meanwhile, a 20-year-old woman and 41-year-old man were both "absent from their homes" in Darwin when officers came knocking.
"They were contacted by police and were unable to provide a lawful justification as to why they were not quarantining," the NT PFES said.
Quarantine restrictions have eased in the NT since June 15, under stage three of the "road map to the new normal".
People arriving from interstate must follow mandatory self-quarantine guidelines but are able to undertake the 14-day quarantine period in their own home, private accommodation or appropriate commercial accommodation at their own cost.
Those arriving from overseas must quarantine at mandatory monitored commercial accommodation at their own cost, "given the much higher risk associated with international travel", the territory government states.
There have been no cases of COVID-19 recorded in the NT for more than six weeks and Health Minister Natasha Fyles on May 21 confirmed there were no active cases of the virus.
"It's extremely disappointing that people have become so complacent with the easing of the quarantine restrictions," Acting Commander Shaun Gill said on Tuesday, noting the NT was "still in a health emergency situation".
He said the threat of COVID-19 returning was "very real", with borders opening on July 17.
"Police are strongly urging people to abide by the rules in place and to not put other Territorians' lives at risk, particularly our more vulnerable remote population," he said.
"Travelling to a remote community when you are supposed to be in quarantine could potentially have a disastrous impact and devastate a community."
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people in remote communities have been considered at greater risk of COVID-19 since the pandemic reached Australian shores.
There have 17,825 compliance checks conducted in the NT and a total of 75 fines issued.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner on Monday said the July 17 border reopening date would not change despite the spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
He said there have been 31 testing centres established across the NT and there is a rapid response team for any local outbreaks.
"Test, trace and trap means that if coronavirus ever comes to the Northern Territory, we will lock it down hard," Mr Gunner said.
"No matter where it's found, we will go to a localised lockdown."
Originally published as Quarantining pair 'went on cruise' instead