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Tears and joyful reunion at Darwin airport as the Northern Territory opens its borders to vaccinated arrivals

Tears of joy, a warm embrace after many months apart and grandchildren held for the first time: such were the scenes at the airport a few hours after the entry into force of the biggest change at the borders of the Territory North since the start of the pandemic.

As of today, fully vaccinated arrivals are free to enter the Northern Territory without the need for quarantine.

For the 2,000 interstate arrivals expected at the territory’s major airports in Alice Springs and Darwin today, the relaxed restrictions meant the long-awaited reunions were finally a reality.

However, the decision to go ahead with reduced restrictions has angered indigenous health groups as the territory’s COVID-9 epidemic continues to soar.

And, as borders shrink around Australia, an increase in travel and domestic cases has delayed the results of PCR tests, which are required to enter the territory.

At a press conference on Monday, Acting Chief Minister Nicole Manison said this would mean people entering the territory over the next few days may not collect their PCR test results before landing and would have to isolate themselves until they receive their result.


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