The lockdown in a Northern Territory town has ended as planned after no new COVID-19 cases linked an infected US defence contractor were found.
Katherine was locked down for three days at midday on Monday after the man in his 30s travelled from Sydney to the Top End.
It was extended for 24 hours on Thursday after authorities learned the man was most infectious while in the town, which he drove to on Sunday.
But overnight test results have found no COVID-19 cases linked to the man and wastewater testing has come back negative.
“Out of 2338 tests in the last 24 hours, all tests have remained negative,” Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters on Friday.
From midday, residents can again move about, however, some restrictions will apply. These include wearing face masks in public when people can’t socially distance themselves.
Patrons will also need to be seated at hospitality venues. Gyms and markets will remain closed for a further six days. People can have a maximum of 10 visitors to their homes.
Authorities identified, isolated and tested 89 close contacts with all returning a negative test. More than 550 of 646 casual contacts have also returned negative tests with the remainder pending.
Authorities still don’t know how and where the man contracted the virus.
The infection has been confirmed as the Delta variant, but it hasn’t yet been linked to any other cases in the country.
The man returned a positive result on Sunday night after mandatory testing at Royal Darwin Hospital earlier in the day.
Before the results arrived, he drove 320km south to Katherine for work.
He previously returned a negative COVID-19 test on 10 August during his 14-day stay in a Sydney quarantine hotel.
Meanwhile, medically vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 in Greater Darwin and all children aged 12 and above outside that area are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
About 59 per cent of Territorians have had one vaccine dose and 40 per cent are fully vaccinated.
More than 182,000 COVID-19 vaccine jabs have now been given in the NT.
The federal and NT governments have increased financial support for Territory tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
From Monday businesses will be able to access $10.3 million through the $9 million Visitation Reliant Support Program and the $1.3 million Tourism Survival Fund.