Northern Territory tourist bodies are still scrambling to reassure Australians its borders are still open.
The fallout from Chief Minister Michael Gunner's Tuesday declaration of "hard borders" remaining for at least 18 months is still being felt.
Tourism Top End says the comments have created uncertainty across Australia, with many people believing the NT had closed its borders.
"Our industry has fielded a lot of phone calls from interstate visitors who were planning to get here," general manager Glen Hingley said yesterday.
He said people had heard Mr Gunner's remarks and interpreted them to mean the Territory was closed to all visitors.
"That's a really unfortunate outcome and the industry has been really busy and they are worried," he said.
"Words are important and language matters in such sensitive fragile times."
Tourism Top End sent an advisory to its worried members today.
"We have seen some conjecture in the media as to the current status of NT Borders.
"On behalf of members Tourism Top End has responded to media enquiries, both local and interstate, that at a time when sentiment around travel is so fragile 'words matter', for Territorians and all Australians.
"Yesterday and today Tourism Top End has responded to members, travellers and media enquiries with the facts about current border controls.
The current advice for Territorians and for travelers remains as follows:
- Anyone entering the NT from a declared hotspot is required to undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine at their own cost.
- Everyone entering the NT must complete a border entry form that details their locations for the last 14 days.
- If you have already entered the NT and a hotspot is declared within 14 days of your having been there, you must advise the Public Health Unit on 1800 008 002 and follow any instructions.
- If travelling to or from an airport within a declared hotspot, point 4 from the 'Directions for COVID-19 Hotspots' provides advice.
- Hotspots can and do change.
The chief minister's tough-on-border controls pledge - which also promises extra police to monitor interstate arrivals - comes amid a tight territory election, with voting already underway.
Despite this, the NT actually remains open to all visitors, with those arriving from or through a hotspot required to undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine at a cost of $2500.
Hotspots have been identified as Greater Sydney and Victoria.
Opposition parties have suggested the NT's chief health officer, Hugh Heggie, should be making all coronavirus announcements while the Government is in caretaker mode up to the August 22 election.
- with AAP
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