Date: 11 December 2020
As part of the Australian Government’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT), Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Honourable Nola Marino MP, is extending the declared states of emergency (SoE) in Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) up until 16 March 2021, in line with the national state of emergency.
While the IOT communities have no known cases of COVID-19, it is important that we continue to protect and support IOT communities, with the health and wellbeing of CI and CKI residents our first priority. It is also important that the community continues to follow Australian Government and local advice to keep themselves, their family, friends and community safe.
This is particularly important throughout the coming holiday period, and I urge all community members to remember to practise COVIDSafe rules—including avoiding large crowds, gathering outdoors where possible, keeping 1.5m apart and washing your hands regularly.
The Australian Government understands the social and economic impacts COVID-19 has had on IOT communities. As restrictions continue to ease, the Government is committed to supporting the sustainable recovery and economic diversificatation of CI and CKI over the coming months, ensuring the IOT remains a bucket-list destination for tourists looking to travel locally—including through the IOT’s ongoing alignment with Western Australia’s controlled border arrangements.
I would like to again thank the Territory Controllers, Detective Sergeant Kylie Lawson on CI, and Sergeant David Williams on CKI, supported by the Emergency Management Committees, for their hard work and commitment to keeping our IOT communities COVIDSafe in our ongoing response.
Thank you for your support and commitment to keeping the IOT COVID-19 free over the past months and into 2021.
Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands