Date: 24 March 2020
In recognition of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) of Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands" (CKI) ongoing vulnerability to the risks posed by COVID-19, the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Honourable Nola Marino, MP, has approved the extension of the current states of emergency in both territories.
I have extended the states of emergency under the Christmas Island Emergency Management Ordinance 2012 and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Emergency Management Ordinance 2012 until Friday 17 April 2020.
This decision has been made to protect the remote IOT communities, which currently have no known cases of COVID-19. Again, this extension was supported by the CI and CKI Emergency Management executive.
The travel ban remains in place in relation to passenger arrivals to CI and CKI. Only residents and essential staff can travel to CI and CKI until further notice, and anyone returning to the islands will need to self-isolate for 14 days once on CI or CKI, whether they have travelled overseas or remained in Australia.
Decisions regarding the definition of ‘essential staff’ are made by me as chair of the EMC in consultation with the relevant Territory Controller.
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) flights will continue to service the region however they will only carry passengers who are residents or essential staff. Applications for an exemption under the essential staff definition can be made via my office.
Please see this fact sheet for further information and guidelines for self-isolation.
If you have respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and are concerned you may have been exposed to coronavirus, then isolate yourself and call IOTHS to discuss your circumstances—do not attend the health service without calling ahead.
I will continue to provide regular updates to you. I thank you all for your ongoing support and collaboration in our response to the pandemic.
If you have questions or require further information, please contact my Office on 9164 7959.
For further information, see www.health.gov.au or phone the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands