Anyone except for essential workers must quarantine in Alice Springs or Tennant Creek for two weeks before they will be allowed to return to remote communities in the biosecurity areas across the Central Land Council region.

Until the quarantine services were running, the CLC had provided permission letters on a case-by-case basis to residents who needed to visit Alice Springs or Tennant Creek in exceptional circumstances so they could return to their locked-down communities inside the biosecurity areas.

It also gave permission letters to residents of outstations who had jobs in town, had no access to a store or a clinic, allowing them to return home without the need to quarantine.

As of 23 April, the federal government, on the CLC’s recommendation, excluded outstations near Alice Springs from the biosecurity areas.

“This means Aboriginal people who live on nearby outstations will finally be treated just like other rural residents on the outskirts of town,” CLC chief executive Joe Martin-Jard said.

“This change was overdue and we are pleased that the government has listened to us.”

“Now that the NT government has supervised quarantine facilities in place, permission letters are only for emergencies.

Remote community residents and interstate arrivals will need to quarantine in a hostel or motel in town for two weeks before they can go home.

“If remote community residents need to come to town for medical reasons they will need to contact their clinic or the hospital before they travel so they can organise for them to return home again,” said Mr Martin-Jard.

“From today, my staff will be telling everyone: if you are at home please stay there. You are safest from the coronavirus in your community.”

“In the meantime, we will hold governments to their promises that people will have what they need to stay safe and well in the biosecurity areas.”

For more information about the NT’s quarantine process, please go to or email

MEDIA CONTACT: Elke Wiesmann | 08 8951 6217 |