Coronavirus response—extension of state of emergency

Number: A010(2)/2020

Date: 17 April 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 state of emergency in both territories until 30 June if necessary.

I have extended the state of emergency under the Christmas Island Emergency Management Ordinance 2012 and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Emergency Management Ordinance 2012 until Monday 20 April 2020 and will review the situation with the Territory Controllers, in consultation with the Emergency Management Committees on both CI and CKI, on an ongoing basis to determine whether further extensions are necessary through to 30 June 2020.

Under these acts, declarations will be made every three days if the state of emergency is still warranted. These declarations may be revoked, or I will not extend them, if no longer needed. The declarations will be published on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website. I will announce any decision not to extend the emergency declaration to the community, through a bulletin.

This decision has been made to further protect the remote IOT communities, which currently have no known cases of COVID-19. The travel ban remains in place in relation to passenger arrivals to CI and CKI.

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) flights will continue to service the region, however they will only carry passengers who are residents or essential staff who have my permission to return or arrive. Applications for an exemption under the essential staff definition can be made via my office.

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 email IOTAdministrator@infrastructure.gov.au or 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