Chief Minister Michael Gunner has declared the Northern Territory the "safest place in Australia" after it had only 22 people test positive for COVID-19 out of 5350 cases nationally.
There have been no deaths or community transmissions in the sparsely populated NT, unlike the rest of the country, with the positive cases people who had returned from overseas or interstate.
The NT all but closed its borders more than a week ago, steadily ramping up restrictions so that from Saturday anyone entering from interstate will be forced into two weeks' hotel quarantine and pay a $2500 fee.
On Friday there were 2629 people legally required to be in 14 days of quarantine.
NT Police, authorised officers and Australian Defence Force members had conducted 1294 checks to ensure people were complying, with two fined $1099 for breaches.
The measures were working well and daily arrivals had plummeted 75 per cent since last weekend, but despite that, they would be in place for six months at least, Mr Gunner said.
"The biggest threat to the Territory is clear, it's not us it's them," he told reporters.
"The rest of the country is full of coronavirus hot spots, we are a safe haven and we are trying to stay that way.
"I've made it as hard as possible for people to come here, we have said to the rest of the country: 'We want you back one day, but for now you need to stay away, you are too dangerous'."
Mr Gunner said the spate of 12 cases in the remote Kimberley region of WA bordering NT "did scare the hell out of me".
COVID-19 would have a devastating effect on vulnerable Aboriginal populations.
The lockdown on civilian life in the NT is slightly less draconian than in other states, with people advised to mostly stay at home and go out in groups of two, but police only enforcing a limit of 10 people.
Whether that changes depends on whether Territorians did the right thing, which they were so far, Mr Gunner said.
"If coronavirus gets loose in our community it will kill people and we will know the people that it kills ... there's not a lot of us, we know each other we are all in each other's business," Mr Gunner said.
"Every day we delay transmission, every day we slow the spread is another day our health system can cope and we are closer to getting a vaccine.
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said the extra powers police had over peoples' lives should not be seen as authoritarian, but warned they might be ramped up if there were more virus cases or people were not complying.
The use of mobile phones to track people, as controversially occurred in China, is being considered.
Australian Associated Press