Freight worker testing requirements ramp up in NSW and SA

Sydney’s Fairfield council mandates tests every three days

Certain freight workers are subject to more stringent Covid-19 testing regimes in light of the Delta variant outbreak, trucking bodies have advised.

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard signed a new health order requiring anyone in the Fairfield local government area leaving for work to be tested every three days.

This is to demonstrate a negative result “even if you don’t have symptoms because, unfortunately, we see what we call asymptomatic people who don’t have symptoms, leaving the house, going out of the local area to work and unfortunately sending the virus to other parts of Greater Sydney or elsewhere and that’s what we have to stop.”

RFNSW CEO Simon O’Hara noted freight workers will be affected, and companies should expect the testing regime to impact operations.

Meanwhile, those who live in or are staying in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, must have a Covid-19 test in the seven days before working if the workplace is 50km or more outside Greater Sydney. 

This includes anyone working in the Greater Sydney area and travelling into the regions, and vice versa.

“If you happen to have people on your worksite or overseeing work or any time of activity in your private residence or commercial premises, please ask where they live and if they live or come from that area, a hotspot area, please ask when the last time was that they got tested,” Hazzard said.

“That also will apply to people working in the regions.

“It starts at 12.01am, obviously the police will exercise the same respectful approach in the next few days to making sure that we don’t cause people unnecessary problems in needing to get that test immediately but certainly we would like it to be done immediately.

“The police will exercise judgement in determining what action they might take if you haven’t actually managed to get it in the next 24/36 hours.”

Further, SARTA has urged all heavy vehicle operators to ensure they and their drivers strictly comply with the state’s essential traveller requirements under the SA Police (SAPOL) directions.

It comes after “what appears to be a serious breach of Covid Safety and SA Border Entry Requirements by a HV driver and co-worker in a furniture removal operation”, CEO Steve Shearer said.

“A truck coming out of NSW through Victoria and in to SA had a driver and second person in the vehicle, who entered under Essential Traveller status, were identified as close contacts out of NSW and in investigating the circumstances of their time in SA SAPol have identified that the two individuals conducted their off-loading at a house in a suburb of Adelaide over a period of 4–5 hours while not wearing masks.”

The state’s latest update will require, from 12.01am on July 15, essential travellers entering SA from anywhere within NSW/ACT to be tested within 24 hours – after every entry/return to SA. 

“We have confirmed our reading of this with senior Covid command SAPOL officers.

“SARTA discussed the need for increased testing facilities and opening hours again last night after the new direction requiring tests within 24 hours after every entry from NSW/ACT.

“They have advised us they are looking at doing so at Yamba and Pinnaroo.”


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