30 Apr 2020

Australia's Northern Territory eases Covid-19 restrictions

10:58 am on 30 April 2020

Australia's Northern Territory is easing rules on the number of attendees at outdoor weddings and funerals from tomorrow as its government continues to wind back coronavirus restrictions.

Groom's putting a wedding ring on the bride's finger

Weddings in the Northern Territory are currently limited to five attendees. Photo: 123rf

Playgrounds will also be opened for the first time in weeks after they were cordoned off to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Weddings in the Northern Territory are currently limited to five attendees, while funerals have a cap of 10 people.

*See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Under the new rules, which take effect from midday Friday, there will be no limit as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner earlier this week announced some parks and reserves would reopen for swimming, camping and hiking ahead of the May Day long weekend.

In all cases, people will still be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and maintain a separation of 1.5 metres.

Further details about the easing of other restrictions are expected to be revealed by Gunner later today, including specifics about when and how businesses will be able to return to normal operations.

The chief minister has already briefed the prime minister on his plan which, according to the government, will be the first such exit-strategy of any Australian jurisdiction.

On Monday, Gunner said some businesses could be up and running by next month, with most others by June, if they meet certain protocols including social distancing and regular cleaning.

There have been no new cases of Covid-19 detected in the Territory for more than three weeks and there are just three active coronavirus cases remaining out of a total of 28 confirmed cases to date.

"It's because of [Territorians] that we are safest place in Australia, and it's because of them that we can start moving to a new normal before the rest of Australia," Gunner said.


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs