NO JAB, NO FREEDOM
It has just been announced that unvaccinated people in the Northern Territory will be placed in lockdown from 1pm local time on Thursday.
The lockdown will run until midday on Monday, with unvaccinated residents 16 years and over – including those who’ve only received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – only permitted to leave home for three reasons.
These are: to access medical treatment, to purchase essential goods and services and to provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.
“The fully vaccinated can continue as they were. For people who are not vaccinated, lockdown rules will apply to everyone aged 16 and above,” Mr Gunner said.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said unlike with previous lockdowns, the unvaccinated would also be banned from going outside to work or exercise.
“Today’s escalation in case numbers is concerning,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
“Our community transmission rate has grown in recent days.”
“We’re doing this early as a sustainable measure that provides the best ability to control community transmission and who ends up in our hospitals.”
Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said “the epidemic epidemiological curve is very concerning”.
The ‘lockout’ will last until 12pm on Monday, when a vaccination passport system will be introduced.
“If you are not fully vaccinated, stay home.”
He also announced only residents and essential workers would now be permitted to enter excluded communities and would be required to return a negative rapid antigen test on the day of entry.
The Northern Territory becomes the first Australian jurisdiction to specifically lock down the unvaccinated, following similar moves in Austria and other overseas countries.
Amongst the manufactured and divisive Novak story, let’s make sure this news gets the attention it deserves. The NT government makes a big move after months of creeping authoritarianism.
We will follow this story.
A very slippery precedent this afternoon.
A SLOW CREEP
The shock news is characteristic of a Gunner government that has made controversy for unprecedented lockdown moves and attitudes over the last few months.
The remote NT areas of Katherine, Binjari and Rockhole were placed into a hard lockdown in early November, with an operation that included ‘transferring positive cases from the community’.
This made headlines across the world, with Gunner denouncing ‘misinformation’ from “tinfoil hat wearing tossers” in a press conference.
Entry to the indigenous regions was blocked off, while residents were not permitted to leave their home for a variety of reasons, including the ability to get food. Packages were delivered.
This was to push vaccines in the hesitant regions, and a few days later, Gunner announced a 100% first-dose rate. All while sovereign peoples put out an international plea for assistance.
Soon after, the community of Lajamanu, located southwest of Katherine in the Northern Territory, entered immediate lockdown – with a Rapid Assessment Team in the area overnight.
Were these areas test runs for this larger lockdown? Will more unvaccinated be rounded up?
In early December, Northern Territory Police said multiple people were arrested after escaping from Darwin’s Howard Springs COVID-19 quarantine facility.
As backlash to these moves, Gunner appeared to be close to tears at a press conference a few days later, after revealing death threats against him and his family.
Now, the entire state targets the unvaccinated, despite Omicron first arriving in the Northern Territory via vaccinated travellers flying in from South Africa.
The Northern Territory’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court, with a group of businesses arguing the rules are draconian and racist.
Keep your eyes on the NT testing grounds, ladies and gentlemen.
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