Additional restrictions in place as NSW lockdown extended

With Greater Sydney’s COVID lockdown extended until the end of September, increased restrictions are in place particularly for residents of the 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern.

The LGAs of Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith, have been identified as areas of concern and face stricter lockdown rules.

This includes a 9pm to 5am curfew for those with the exception of authorised workers including letterbox deliverers and those working in manufacturing including food and beverage packaging and the production of personal protective equipment.

From this Saturday August 28, authorised workers from the LGAs of concern will have to carry a Service NSW permit declaring they are an authorised worker and cannot work from home and anyone entering an LGA of concern for work purposes must carry a worker permit issued by Service NSW. At the time of writing, information about registering for a worker permit has not yet been published on Service NSW website. This information is expected to uploaded soon.

In addition, The Real Media Collective has provided a letter template and is encouraging all effected member and non-member business owners to download it and edit for their own purposes – the template can be found here.

Rapid antigen testing

In relation to on-site rapid antigen testing, The Real Media Collective provides this update:

Impacted workers whose workplaces do not implement rapid antigen testing from Monday August 30, will either have to be able to evidence to their employer (and NSW Police if queried) they have received at least a first COVID vaccination dose, or they will be unable to present themselves to work from that time due to NSW Public Health Orders.

The Real Media Collective (TRMC) said:

  • Although an option proposed by government, implementing rapid antigen testing is not compulsory for members in their workplaces to test those impacted workers
  • Rapid antigen testing is not currently covered under the Medical Benefits Schedule (Medicare) rebate scheme. TRMC has approached the NSW Government and Federal Department of Health over whether such testing will be added to the MBS rebate scheme
  • Those who are considering the implementation of such testing would currently need to cover the whole cost of such testing
  • Rapid antigen testing cannot be undertaken through self-testing and must be provided by an Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered practitioner (including a doctor, nurse, podiatrist, pharmacist, dentist, and paramedic) who is trained in the use of such testing kits and operates under standard operating procedures and guidelines approved by the TGA and NSW Health
  • Those impacted workers whose workplaces do not implement rapid antigen testing from August 30 will either have to be able to provide evidence to their employer (and NSW Police if queried) that they have received at least a first COVID vaccination dose, or they will be unable to present themselves to work from that time due to NSW Public Health Order.

Evidence of having received a vaccination dose could be from the employees MyGov account or other related confirming communication in hardcopy of electronically such as from NSW Health.

“TRMC understands the process and requirements for obtaining those permits will be on the Services NSW website early next week and we will provide further guidance on this and related issues when available,” TRMC CEO Kellie Northwood said.

“The Real Media Collective is here working hard for all of our industry, should anyone have concerns or require additional information please do not hesitate in reaching out to the team on [email protected]. We make ourselves available to members, employees and supplier or contractor queries.”

Other measures

The extended lockdown in Greater Sydney will not apply to Shellharbour and the Central Coast, which will now be classified as regional areas whereby the lockdown is expected to conclude at the end of August.

In addition, from August 23, workers from the Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and Fairfield LGAs will no longer have to have been tested for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours to work outside their LGA.

From August 23, wearing a facemask will also be mandatory when outside a home, except when exercising.

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