Two United States Marines who arrived in Australia as part of the 2021 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) on 12 and 14 April returned positive COVID-19 results during routine testing conducted as part of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
CAPTION: United States Marines from the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin participate in Darwin’s 2021 ANZAC Day march. Photo by Petty Officer Peter Thompson.
The Marines are asymptomatic and were transferred to the care of AUSMAT at the NT Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs.
CONTACT believes these constitute the fifth and sixth cases of COVID-19 among American personnel in Darwin this year.
All US Marines are subject to strict screening and quarantine requirements before departure, and on arrival into Australia, including:
- present a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before departure for Australia
- mandatory 14-day quarantine in secure facilities at RAAF Base Darwin and Bladin Village Northern Territory
- COVID-19 testing on arrival, and before exiting their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, and
- daily health checks that included screening for COVID-19 symptoms and mental health checks.
Due to the strict procedures put in place before the arrival of this year’s MRF-D rotation, the Marines have had no direct contact with the general community.
Defence is liaising closely with the Northern Territory Government on this matter following the extensive planning that occurred to enable a safe 2021 MRF-D rotation.
Defence and NT Health have agreed to strict measures for managing MRF-D’s arrival, quarantine and possible or positive cases of COVID-19.
The 2021 MRF-D will continue to adhere to all current Northern Territory restrictions for mitigating COVID-19 risks.