23 July 2021
The NSW Government has published a list of workers authorised to travel outside the local government area they live in if they are required to leave home for work. As of 23 July 2021, this list applies to workers living in Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and Blacktown LGAs.
The Australian Services Union (ASU) has advised that if you are an authorised worker and need to leave your LGA for work you need to:
- Get a COVID-test every 3 days
- Carry proof of your latest COVID-test result (this can be a text message from NSW Health)
- Have evidence that you are an authorised worker – we suggest you carry a letter from your employer. The NSW Department of Communities and Justice has given a sample letter that your employer can use.
The ASU also asked the NSW Department of Communities and Justice to extend their employee assistance program (EAP) to all funded services. Today, they have agreed. We will provide you with information as soon as it becomes available.
18 July 2021
On 18 July 2021, the Department of Communities and Justice emailed the below advice to NGO service providers about the additional COVID-19 restrictions and how they apply to the sector. For other information related to the sector, view the NCOSS COVID-19 Community Sector Resource.
The new restrictions are serious and exemptions are not given lightly. The intent of the order is to restrict travel as much as possible. Even where DCJ, and NGOs working on behalf of DCJ, have exemptions, we must limit unnecessary movements. Staff should work from home and stay in their LGA, wherever it is possible to do so. Managers should carefully consider if staff must leave the LGA.
Similar advice has been distributed to DCJ staff.
Workers in Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown
If you live in the Fairfield, Liverpool, or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas you cannot leave the local government area that you live in for work unless you are an authorised worker.
You can go to work in the same local government area you live in if:
- you live and work in the Fairfield, Liverpool, or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas
- the business is allowed to be open
- you cannot work from home.
If you leave the Fairfield local government area for work as an authorised worker, you need to have a COVID-19 test when required by the rules for testing.
The list of authorised workers describes the list of workers authorised to travel outside the Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury Bankstown local government areas if they are required to leave home for work.
Items described as activities mean that workers involved in services for providing that activity are allowed to leave the local government area they live in if required for work.
Activities that apply to services being delivered on behalf of DCJ are captured in:
- Item 11 Health care and social assistance – a person employed or engaged by the Department of Communities and Justice to provide housing or homelessness services
- Item 12 Health care and social assistance – a person employed or engaged to provide services to persons with disability or vulnerable persons
- Item 14 Health care and social assistance – family violence and sexual assault services
This means that NGOs delivering services to vulnerable children and their families, including community housing, are included.
Evidence of being an authorised worker
DCJ is preparing a letter for service providers confirming that activities you are doing on our behalf are considered essential. This will be sent to you tomorrow [19 July 2021] and can accompany a letter of authorisation for your staff to carry with them.
COVID testing requirements for people residing in Fairfield LGA who leave for authorised work remain in place
The current testing requirements for people who live in Fairfield LGA and travel outside of Fairfield LGA continue. A worker who lives in Fairfield is not permitted to leave the LGA for work unless they have been tested for COVID-19 in the preceding 72 hours and they must have evidence available for the employer and police that they have been tested.
New rules – mask wearing, carpooling and construction and non-urgent maintenance
Additional new rules include:
- Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. A mask must be worn when you are working outdoors, as well as indoors
- Construction and non-urgent maintenance to be paused.
You may travel by car with other people if it is for an emergency or to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person. If you use a vehicle for work, you are allowed to share a car with a person that you do not live with (carpool) if it is required for your work. This means that NGOs delivering services to vulnerable children and their families, including community housing, are permitted to car pool if necessary.
For further information about the new restrictions, please visit common questions about the updated COVID-19 rules in NSW.
DCJ is regularly updating information on the DCJ COVID-19 latest updates and DCJ program specific advice webpages. This includes COVID-19 CALD resources in community languages and practice guidance for virtual home visits.
DCJ is here to support you. If you need help, please contact your contract manager or email DCJ at COVID19.Support@facs.nsw.gov.au