30 November 2020
This resource explains the basis for, and extent of, the restrictions related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) in the Northern Territory (NT) as at 30 November 2020.
On 18 March 2020 the Northern Territory Minister for Health declared a public health emergency for the NT arising out of the serious public health risk posed by COVID-19 (Emergency Declaration). The Emergency Declaration, which has been extended, ends on 23 December 2020.
The Health Minister may extend the Emergency Declaration for any number of further 90-day periods.
The Emergency Declaration (and each subsequent extension) is declared under the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 (NT) (the Act).
An Emergency Declaration gives the NT Chief Health Officer broad powers to take any action and give any direction they consider necessary, appropriate or desirable to alleviate the public health risk to the NT community posed by COVID-19.
While an Emergency Declaration is in force, the NT Chief Health Officer can take action and give directions:
We will refer to the above actions and directions as the Public Health Emergency Powers.
Contravention of the Public Health Emergency Powers without a reasonable excuse could result in a fine.
The NT Chief Health Officer can appoint Authorised Officers to help exercise the Public Health Emergency Powers.
While the Emergency Declaration is in force, Authorised Officers may use force where it is necessary and reasonable to:
An Authorised Officer taking action to assist the NT Chief Health Officer:
This direction is made under the Chief Health Officer’s power to direct an authorised officer to assist the Chief Health Officer in exercising the Chief Health Officer’s Public Health Emergency Powers.
Under this direction every police officer who is an Authorised Officer must assist the Chief Health Officer in exercising the Public Health Emergency Powers.
Police officers who are Authorised Officers must assist with compliance with any directions made by the Chief Health Officer in relation to the Public Health Emergency.
The directions are described in detail below. This includes:
At the time of publication, the Public Health Emergency Powers have been used to:
See the linked NT Government explanations of these directions for further details.
If you are a community organisation, find out about how these restrictions impact your duties to employees and volunteers.
There are additional restrictions made through Federal Government powers. To understand those restrictions, see our Federal Government resource.
Refusing or failing to comply with a direction given under the Public Health Emergency Powers, without a reasonable excuse, could result in a fine of up to $62,800.
If you or your family are directed to do something using the Public Health Emergency Powers, you can get legal advice through Justice Connect.
If you have a legal problem related to COVID-19, apply for free legal help from Justice Connect.
This resource is accurate as at noon on 30 November 2020. You should review the Northern Territory Government website for the most up to date information.
This is a Northern Territory resource.
 Government Gazette No.S48 – Extension of Operation of Declaration of Public Health Emergency, dated 22 September 2020.
 Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 (NT) (the Act) s 50.
 The Act s 48.
 The Act s 52(1).
 As above.
 The Act s 52.
 The Act s 52(3).
 The Act s 56.
 The Act s 53.
 The Act s 53(2).
 The Act s 53(3).
 The Act s 53.
 The Act s 53(1); COVID-19 Directions (No.5) 2020 – Assistance of Police Officers, 22 March 2020.
 COVID-19 Directions (No 57) 2020, Directions for Major Public Events, 30 November 2020.
 COVID-19 Directions (No. 49) 2020 as amended by COVID-19 Directions (No. 50), (No. 53) and (No 54), – Directions for Territory Border Restrictions, 24 August 2020; COVID-19 Directions (No. 55) 2020 – Directions for Quarantine Facilities, 12 November 2020; COVID-19 Directions (No. 50) 2020 – Directions for Freight Workers, 28 August 2020; COVID-19 Directions (No. 51) 2020 – Maritime Crew, 28 August 2020.
 COVID-19 Directions (No 7) 2020, Directions for Infected Persons, 28 March 2020.
 The Act s 56, Penalty Units Act 2009 (NT).