New South Wales COVID Update, 28 July 2021

The news is not good and I’m so sorry. We will get through this New South Wales – we just have to look after each other and stay positive where we can.

The Premier has today announced that the lockdown in Greater Sydney (including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour) will be extended for another four weeks – until at least 28 August. In addition, the following changes have been announced:

From midnight tonight, 28 July, 2021, the following restrictions also apply:

  • Shopping for essential items now has a restriction of a 10km limit from your place of residence.
  • Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River Local Government Areas (LGAs) join the 5 existing LGAs in hard lockdown with workers only able to leave their respective LGAs if they are authorised workers.

From 12:01 am Saturday, 31 July, 2021, the following restrictions will apply:

  • Construction in non-occupied settings outside of the 8 LGAs of concern (with no residents on-site) will re-open, subject to a one person per 4 square metres rule. These low-risk construction sites must have a COVID Safety Plan in place and compliance will be strictly enforced.
  • Construction cannot resume in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will construction workers be allowed to leave their respective LGAs to work.
  • Works in occupied premises including residential homes can also resume from this Saturday where there is zero contact between workers and residents. There will be a limit of up to two workers for indoor services and five workers for outdoor services, and works will only be possible where it is feasible for residents to vacate the area. If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead.
  • Trade work and works in residential premises will not be allowed in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will workers be allowed to leave their respective LGAs for work.
  • A defined list of preparatory works may commence on worksites from tomorrow to enable sites to reopen safely, with limited workforces on site to ensure COVID safe measures are in place, that equipment and plant can be restarted safely and that all utilities are in order. This list is not yet available but I will forward it as soon as it is.
  • Businesses in the 8 locked down LGAs which are part of the construction supply chain will be permitted to operate. Construction supply chain workers will be added to the authorised workers list and will be allowed to leave their local LGAs for work, subject to meeting COVID-19 surveillance testing requirements. This includes Glass and Window manufacturing businesses and their workers.
  • Worksites will be able to operate on Sundays and public holidays for the remainder of the year, up until Christmas, to make up for any time lost.
  • Delivery Drivers are listed on the authorised workers list so are able to leave their respective locked down LGAs for work as long as they comply with any COVID testing requirements.
  • You may not travel in a car with people other than those that you live with unless it is strictly for work purposes and it is not safe to travel separately (for example if 2 people are required to lift a window or piece of glass) and both occupants of the vehicle must wear masks at all times.

Changes to compulsory COVID testing (enforceable from Saturday, 31 July):

  • All authorised workers from Canterbury-Bankstown LGA must get tested once every three days in order to leave their LGA for work.
  • People who live in the Fairfield and Cumberland LGAs but work outside these areas as health or aged care workers (including support services for health or aged care, such as cleaners, cooks and security providers) must be tested once every three days in order to be allowed to go to work outside their LGA. Authorised workers from industries other than the ones listed above do not need to get tested every 3 days.
  • At this stage there is no advice for testing requirements for people who live in Parramatta, Campbelltown, Georges River, Liverpool and Blacktown LGAs. I will update as soon as there are any changes.

Government Assistance

The Prime Minister has announced a new funding scheme for those suffering due to the extended lockdown in Sydney. From next week, the COVID Disaster Payments will be increased from $600 to $750 and the payment for less than 20 hours from $375 to $450.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment | Services Australia

Businesses, sole traders, and not-for-profit organisations can now apply for JobSaver payments of up to $10,000. These payments will provide cash flow support to impacted businesses to help them maintain their employee headcount as of 13 July, 2021. Businesses must have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown, compared to the same period in 2019. Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with employees will receive fortnightly payments backdated to cover costs incurred from week four of the lockdown (from 18 July, 2021, onwards).

JobSaver payment | Service NSW

These are really tough times for all of us but our industry is strong and we look after each other. Please take some time to check on those around you and make sure they are okay. Don't forget to look after yourselves too. If there is anything I or the team at AGWA can do to help please do not hesitate to call.

Take care and stay safe,

Melissa Baker
National Industry Development Manager
Australian Glass and Window Association