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Extension of IOT State of Emergency

Number: A014/2021

Date: 16 March 2021

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 17 June 2021.

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.

We thank the community for your ongoing adherence to physical distancing and hygiene advice, and urge all residents and visitors in the IOT to continue practising COVID Safe rules—including getting tested if you feel unwell, avoiding large crowds, gathering outdoors where possible, keeping 1.5m apart and washing your hands regularly.

Australia's COVID-19 response strategy has been very successful to date, and while there has been adjustments to travel restrictions within Australia's borders, we must remain focused on protecting the community while the COVID vaccination program rolls out across the country and through our territories over the coming months.

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 in our ongoing response.

Along with the Territory Controllers, I will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and response, along with the progress of Australia's vaccination program, ensuring swift and fit-for-purpose responses to protect the CI and CKI communities.

Thank you for your support and commitment to keeping the IOT COVID-19 Safe.

Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands