Regional NSW enters lockdown from 5pm on 14 August

14 August 2021

The NSW Government has announced that the remaining areas of regional NSW will be subject to a 7 day lockdown starting at 5pm today. At present the new restrictions will last until 12:01am Sunday 22 August 2021.

While the public health orders are yet to be released HIA expects that the restrictions will be the same as those currently in place for other regional NSW areas already in lockdown.

A new permit system announced today will be introduced for any person wishing to enter regional NSW from some parts of Greater Sydney for any one of the four permitted reasons, including working on home building sites, from 21 August.

What are the lockdown restrictions for regional NSW?

People that live or work within all of regional NSW will only be allowed to leave home for the four permitted ‘reasonable excuses’ that apply in Greater Sydney, being to:

  • work, if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home, obtain essential goods, such as groceries and medication (limited to one person per household a day and must be obtained within your LGA or within 5km of your home – reduced from 10km starting on Monday 16 August),
  • exercise within 5km of your home, and with only one person who is not from your household, or
  • access child care, school or health care, including getting a COVID-19 vaccination or test, or to provide that care to a vulnerable person.

Can building work continue during the regional NSW lockdown?

Yes. All building activity can continue in regional NSW subject to ensuring all sites adopt COVID safety measures.

While not compulsory to have a COVID Safety Plan, HIA recommends that members take appropriate steps to revisit the existing COVID safety measures in place on all building sites to ensure they are in place and being adopted by all workers attending the site.

HIA recommends that members use HIA’s Making space on site resources for both new homes and renovation sites as a guide to good COVID-19 practices on building sites and ensure all workers are aware of how to work in a COVID safe manner.

What are the rules for building work on occupied renovation sites?

Renovation work on occupied sites is permitted to continue but must now meet limits on the number of workers on site and ensure additional COVID safety measures are followed.

For renovation work on occupied sites:

  • workers must remain separated from all residents when on-site,
  • a maximum of two workers are permitted at any given time in indoor areas, and
  • a maximum of five workers may be on-site at any given time in outdoor areas.

HIA Making space on site guideline for renovation and repair sites site sign is a useful guide that renovation builders may choose to use, along with HIA’s guide for new home buyers and renovators.

What are the face mask requirements?

Any person leaving their home is required to carry a mask at all times.

You must wear a face mask:

  • in all indoor and outdoor areas including a construction site where it is safe to do so.
  • in an indoor area on common property in a residential premises for example lifts and foyers.

An indoor area includes a building or other structure, whether or not temporary, which has a roof, ceiling or other top covering, but does not include an area with at least 2 sides open to the weather.

NSW Health has a range of posters available to use including sign for masks on construction sites (indoors).

The Australian Government also has a range of posters that can be downloaded for free. Construction sites should display the ‘masks are mandatory’ sign.

Can display homes and selection centres remain open?

No. Display homes or other selection centres open to the public must close during the lockdown as all non-essential retail premises are required to close. The lockdown will effectively mean that it is unlikely a customer is permitted to justify leaving their homes to attend a display home over the next 7 days.

Can workers carpool?

Workers can only car pool if it is necessary for carrying out their work in a work vehicle. If travelling in a work vehicle with another person you must carry evidence of where you live, for example a drivers license and produce this to a police officer if asked.

Can manufacturing and warehousing facilities continue to operate?

Yes. There are no restrictions that require a manufacturing or warehousing facility to close during the lockdown.

Under the ‘reasonable excuses’ workers are allowed to leave home to carry out work that cannot be done at home. This means all workers living in regional NSW are permitted to attend work in manufacturing and warehousing facilities if their work cannot be done from home.

Can workers still travel between local government areas in regional NSW?

Now that restrictions apply across all of regional NSW, the limits on movement across all local government areas outside Greater Sydney will be the same, regardless of where you live or have recently worked.

Travelling is limited for everyone, meaning people can only leave home for work that is permitted to continue during the lockdown and that cannot be done from home.

During the lockdown “an employer must require their workers to work from home, where it is reasonably practicable to do so”. This requirement is a change from the “employer must allow” their workers to work from home which applied previously.

This means that staff engaged in business administrative roles that do not require attendance at a building site will most likely need to work from home during the lockdown. Businesses should review the work roles for staff and take the appropriate steps to support staff to continue their work in an adjusted way.

Support for individuals and businesses

Financial support is available to employees that have their hours reduced during the lockdown in any part of NSW under the Australian Government’s National Disaster Payments arrangements.

The NSW Government is also providing a range of business support measures which businesses may be eligible receive.

New permits to enter regional NSW from Greater Sydney for work reasons

Any person seeking to enter regional NSW from any of the Greater Sydney local government areas or suburbs of concern after midnight Saturday 21 August will be required to obtain a permit from Service NSW before travelling. HIA will advise members when more details are available from ServiceNSW on applying for these permits.

Reminder for Super Sunday vaccination clinics for Sydney construction workers.

Members are reminded that there will be three vaccinations clinics operating tomorrow specifically for construction workers. Appointments can be made for the any person aged over 16 working in construction that lives in the local government areas and suburbs of concern.

To find out more on booking an appointment or attending a walk-in clinic visit the NSW Health website.

Other useful information

HIA has been adding new information to our dedicated COVID-19 webpage over the last few weeks to help NSW members. Our team is available to respond to your questions Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, but in the meantime you may find the answers to your questions in these resources and FAQs.

As the NSW restrictions expand and more members are being impacted by the stress of these rapid changes, I would once again like to remind you that it’s essential to find time to look after yourself, your staff and your families. HIA through out partnership with Beyond Blue has a range of resources available that may help you over the coming weeks.

HIA is continuing to meet daily with the NSW Government on the impact of restrictions on home building and we will continue to keep members informed of any changes.

© 2021 Housing Industry Association Limited (ABN 99 004 631 752) (HIA)

The information on this page has been prepared by the Housing Industry Association Limited, not HIA Insurance Services Pty Ltd (HIAIS). The views expressed are those of the Housing Industry Association Limited only and do not necessarily reflect those of HIAIS. This information is intended to provide general insurance related information only. HIAIS does not make any representation as to the accuracy of the information on this page and is unable to accept liability for any loss incurred by anyone who relies on it. The recipient of this information is responsible for their use of it.  

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