Time to text your relos out in the countryside, because it’s looking like just about everyone living in regional Victoria will be able to travel freely across NT borders from the start of November, provided that coronavirus case numbers in the area remain low. Things are finally looking up and it’s beginning to look a lot like a Top End christmas, mates.

As per the ABC, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that the current rolling average of regional Victoria (0.3 cases for the last fortnight) has been deemed low enough to consider having its hotspot status rescinded and are looking at allowing some Victorians to freely cross NT borders and enter the state from November 2.

It means that if the NT Government does decide to remove the hotspot status on the regions outside of Metropolitan Melbourne – which also excludes Greater Geelong, the Mitchell Shire, the East Gippsland Shire, and the Macedon Ranges for now – residents won’t have to go into a $2500 14-day hotel quarantine when entering the Territory.

Those excluded areas in regional Victoria will also be considered if they’re able to get their numbers back down in line with the wider average.

“Right now, we will plan to remove the hotspot declaration in four weeks for all Victorian local government areas outside of Metropolitan Melbourne, with the exception of greater Geelong, the Mitchell Shire and the East Gippsland shire,” Gunner said in a press conference this morning.

“We’re holding back on these four areas for now given they’ve had confirmed case in the past fortnight, just so that our team can investigate them a little further and be totally sure that there is no community transmission from the cases.

“Once we are sure of that, we can be in a position to add these areas to the list of hotspots removed in four weeks.”

This will be the first time anyone from Victoria may be able to travel to the NT since the borders were effectively closed and the whole state was highlighted as a hotspot back in July.

The projected date for easing the border closure for regional Victorians allows for health authorities in the NT to follow the regional cases over two full 14-day cycles of the virus, and if the numbers can stay low then the plan will be put into action.

So get ready, regional Victorians, you might just be able to yeet yourself up to the Top End for a beer and some warmer weather real soon, and maybe just in time for an interstate summer holiday. Imagine that, actually being able to get yourself to the tropics in the tail end of 2020, after everything that this year has chucked up. Nothing but beaches and ice-cold arvo beers from November 2.

Fingers crossed because God knows we need a bit of good news this year.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe