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Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Extension of IOT State of Emergency

Number: A50/2021

Date: 15 December 2021

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation across mainland Australia, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories the Hon Nola Marino is extending the State of Emergency declarations for Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) up to 17 March 2022.

While there have been no known cases of COVID-19 in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) – and we have seen a very high
COVID-19 vaccination rate of more than 95 per cent across CI and CKI – the IOT remain vulnerable in the event of an active COVID-19 case in the community, due to our remote location.  The extension supports the ongoing local COVID response and the need to be prepared in case of an emergency.

The Australian Government is continuing to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the IOT community, and I thank every resident for doing their part to support us in keeping yourselves, your friends and your families safe during these unprecedented times.

While Western Australia (WA) remains in a controlled border arrangement, we will continue to take a considered approach in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the IOT, using WA’s approach as a roadmap to living with COVID-19. 

As the Chair of the IOT COVID-19 subcommittee, I would like to again thank the members including the Territory Controllers for their hard work and commitment in our ongoing response to the pandemic.

We will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and responses across Australia and review arrangements for the IOT to ensure fit-for-purpose responses are in place to protect our communities.

Thank you for your support and commitment to keeping the IOT COVID-19 safe.

Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands