NT starts road to ‘new normal’ with most freedoms in Aus
TERRITORIANS have been granted the most significant freedoms in Australia, after Chief Minister Michael Gunner revealed NT's groundbreaking roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown.
The three-stage restriction rollback will begin at noon on Friday, with the reopening of playgrounds, pools, and outdoor non-contact sports and activities like golf.
Gatherings at home will also be allowed from Friday.
Businesses including pubs, cafes and gyms will follow on May 15.
But strict safety measures, including two-hour limits, will apply until stage 3 of the roadmap.
Nearly all coronavirus restrictions, including team sporting competitions, will be lifted in the NT on June 5.
Gatherings of more than 500 people remain banned unless approved by the Chief Health Officer.
And any shock new case of coronavirus in the NT won't trigger a lockdown according to Mr Gunner, as long as Territorians stick to social distancing rules.
"I'll keep saying this until I'm blue in the face: easing restrictions actually increases the responsibility on all Territorians," he said.
"The whole idea is to get your lives as close to normal as possible, without putting you at risk.
"In the new normal, staying safe, stopping the second wave - that's a job for all of us.
From 12pm on Friday non-contact outdoor sports including golf, tennis, shooting and bootcamps will also be allowed alongside camping, fishing and heading to a park that isn't Kakadu or Uluru.
Real estate auctions and inspections can also resume on Friday.
First drinks are scheduled for May 15, with restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars allowed to reopen as long as they also serve food and the pokies will remain banned.
Indoor events and activities able to abide by the 1.5m social distancing rule and ensure 4 sqm of space per person will be allowed but restricted to less than two hours.
Indoor religious worship can resume and libraries will reopen.
The raft of businesses allowed to reopen two weeks from now, including gyms, barre, and beauty therapy excluding facial services, must lodge a COVID-19 management plan with the NT Government.
Mr Gunner said the "simple checklist", including physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning principles, will be released on May 5.
"This is a very important point: there will not be a new approvals process for venues before they open. You have to lodge your plan with us, but you do not have to wait for us," he said.
"We'll give you a checklist to stick to, and we will expect you to stick to it.
"If you can do the right thing, you can open, and if you keep doing the right thing, we'll stay out of your way."
The two-hour limit on activities and the need to serve food at pubs and bars will be removed at noon on June 5.
All team sporting competitions like footy, netball, soccer and basketball can return then.
Restrictions on beauty therapy and cosmetic services will be lifted.
Having a punt at casinos, TABs or on the pokies will be allowed, alongside cinemas, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues.
Bans on tattoos and piercings will be lifted then too.
The restriction rollback extends to NT's vulnerable remote communities, but travel bans to those places remain intact and could be extended past June 18 if needed.
NT's borders remain shut indefinitely.
Originally published as NT starts road to 'new normal' with most freedoms in the nation