COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
NSW Eases Restrictions for Border Residents
Restrictions on the NSW/Victorian border have been eased to allow residents to move freely within the border region.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the changes follow an easing of restrictions in regional Victoria recently announced by the Victorian Government.
“I want to thank the border communities for their patience – we are able to ease restrictions on the border given the reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission in regional Victoria,” Mr Hazzard said.
Mr Hazzard said under the changes introduced from yesterday, the border region will also be expanded to include some areas around Pleasant Hills, Lockhart, Benalla, Bright and Mount Beauty.
“Any person with an existing border region permit will be able to take advantage of these changes, which we hope will make day to day life a lot easier for border communities,” Mr Hazzard said.
“NSW/Victoria border communities have been extremely resilient during this one-in-100 year pandemic as we continue to fight the challenges of COVID-19.”
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said communities on both sides of the Murray have been the frontline to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“As conditions improve in Victoria, these communities are most deserving of not just respite but recovery. The easing of these restrictions is a welcome part of that,” Mr Clancy said.
“Having been separated for a number of weeks now, as communities that straddle the mighty Murray, we can talk of moving forward together.”
Victorian residents will no longer be obliged to comply with the stay-at-home directions imposed in regional Victoria while in NSW or be restricted to entering NSW for a ‘permitted purpose’.
Stadiums to Benefit from Increased Capacity
Based on updated health advice, major sporting events at selected Sydney stadiums can increase crowds from 25 to 50 per cent capacity (up to a maximum of 40,000 spectators) from 1 October.
The NSW Government yesterday announced Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium have supplied detailed COVID-safe plans, which will allow the venues to host ticketed and seated-only events with increased crowds. The SCG has also provided detailed plans and these are currently being reviewed by NSW Health.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision follows updated health advice from Dr Kerry Chant and will help create jobs and stimulate the economy, key goals of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, however it is no secret we’re also focused on firing up the economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy.”
Spectators who attend are expected to wear a mask when they are not sitting at their seat. This means they should wear a mask on public transport getting to the venue, when using stadium facilities, and walking to and from their seats.
The strict COVID-safe protocols will see spectators sit in different zones with different entry and exit zones, different hospitality areas and amenities to prevent mixing of spectators across zones and assist in contact tracing if an infectious person attends the event.
While spectators will be at a maximum of 50 per cent, staffing will be at 100 per cent prevent crowding in common areas, such as in lines for food and beverages. The one person per 4 metre square rule will continue to apply in many areas of the stadium.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the recently established Events Taskforce had worked hard to reach an outcome which would allow as many people as possible to support live sport.
“There is nothing like the enthusiasm of the crowd at a major sporting event and, after a winter of hibernation, the people of NSW are more ready than ever to go and see their team in action in a safe environment.”
The Events Taskforce, which includes the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister Ayres, is working with NSW Health to assess increasing capacity at MacDonald Jones Stadium, WIN Stadium, Ken Rosewall Arena and Penrith Stadium.
Tourism Australia Launches ‘Australian COVID Travel Portal’
Tourism Australia has launched a new ‘Australian COVID Travel Portal’, which brings together key safety information, travel restrictions and guidelines from across the country to help make travel planning easier.
Travellers and operators are able to access up-to-date travel information in the one centralised resource, consolidating content currently being provided by each of Australia’s states and territories as they reopen in different ways.
The site also includes the up-to-date status of all state and territory borders and associated travel restrictions, relevant information on transport, hotels and accommodation, activities and experiences, as well as health and safety tips.
Click here to view the Australian COVID Travel Portal website.
Update on NSW School Conditions
From Wednesday 19th August, students will have to remain within their relevant class or year group during the school day to limit mixing, schools are no longer permitted to travel outside their regional area for inter-school activities like sport.
Interschool sport and zone carnivals are restricted to 100 people a venue and spectators, including parents and carers, are not permitted within school grounds or at sporting events held during school hours.
School social events will also no longer be permitted, meaning school formals, dances, dinners and graduations cannot go ahead, and overnight events are also banned.
Singing, chanting and group playing of wind instruments will no longer be allowed, which came into place week of 10th August.
This applies for all NSW school students in government and non-government schools.
Health Advice Update on Masks
The NSW Government is strongly encouraging greater use of masks in high-risk public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant specifically recommends:
- The use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets
- The use of face masks (where practical) in indoor settings with a higher risk of transmission, such as for the staff of hospitality and customer-facing venues i.e. cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs; and
- During attendance at places of worship
Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said masks should be considered a “fourth line of defence” after staying home if unwell and getting tested, maintaining 1.5-metre social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths are strongly encouraging shoppers to wear masks when visiting some stores, along with maintaining social distancing.
For more information, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/face-masks
NSW residents returning from Victoria to enter mandatory isolation
From 12am Friday 7th August, NSW residents returning from Victoria will now need to enter 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their expense, like international arrivals, with limited exemptions available.
People who have been in Victoria will only be able to travel into a border community or into Sydney Airport. Rules around border permits will also become more restricted.
Queensland to close it’s border to NSW & ACT residents
From 1am Saturday August 8th, Queensland will close its borders to all NSW and ACT residents. There will be limited exemptions, such as freight and border town residents.
Returning residents will be forced to undergo 14 days in hotel quarantine at their own expense.
COVID Safety Crackdown – Register your Business
COVID-Safe Business Now
Inspector numbers have been boosted and their powers increased under the NSW Public Health Act 2010 in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Pubs, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and venues found to be flouting the NSW COVID-safety measures face fines, and could even be shut down, as part of a joint operation between Liquor & Gaming NSW, SafeWork and Fair Trading.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said stricter conditions and increased supervision are crucial to keep the economy in business.
“Businesses must be part of the solution if they want to stay open and look after their communities,” Mr Dominello said.
“Right now if they haven’t downloaded a COVID-19 Safety plan and registered as a COVID Safe Business they are contravening the Public Health Orders and could face a $5000 fine and then closure.”
Liquor & Gaming, SafeWork and Fair Trading inspectors are working in coordination with local council environmental inspectors, Food Authority inspectors, NSW Health and NSW Police. COVID safety breaches can be reported to NSW Police or complaints made online at nsw.gov.au.
An Update from NSW Government
Further NSW restrictions from Friday 24th July
The NSW Government will tighten COVID-19 restrictions around “higher risk” activities as the pandemic enters a new phase of community transmission.
From 12:01am Friday, 24 July 2020 the following rules will be in force as NSW enters a state of ‘COVID normal’.
- compliance measures introduced to pubs will be extended to restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs. This includes:
1. limiting group bookings to a maximum of 10 people
2. mandatory COVID-Safe plans and registration as a COVID-Safe business
3. a digital record must be created within 24 hours.
- weddings and corporate events will be limited to 150 people subject to the four square metre rule and registration as a COVID-Safe business. Strict COVID-Safe plans must be in place and high-risk activities including choirs and dancing must not occur
- funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people, subject to the one person per four square metre rule and a COVID-Safe business registration.
Jobkeeper Payment and Income Support Extended
The JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months to 28 March 2021 and the temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until 31 December 2020.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the extension this week to continue supporting hundreds of thousands of Australians who are without work, and offer businesses and workers a lifeline to get through the crisis and recover on the other side.
Businesses and individuals may need to update registration details to receive additional support. Follow the links for additional information about:
- JobKeeper for employers or employees
- Jobkeeper for sole traders
- Coronavirus supplement (JobSeeker)
- JobTrainer skills package – supporting apprentices and trainees wage subsidy
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Relief for commercial tenants
- Credit support for businesses
- Early access to superannuation
The rules on gatherings remain the same: 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place. However, as the home is a high transmission area, the NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends a COVID-Safe precautionary approach of limiting visitors to the home to 10 people as a general principle.
Border Closure to protect NSW
NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW citizens.
People entering NSW from Victoria will need a NSW border entry permit. Your permit will indicate if you need to self-isolate for 14 days, get tested for COVID-19, abide by a COVID-19 Safety Plan, or any other conditions.
Special provisions have been made for
- residents of border communities
- people performing critical services
- interstate residents transiting through NSW.
To answer your questions about the changes, NSW Government have prepared a guide to the border restrictions.
For more information on border restrictions and hot spot locations, please click here.
An Update from Destination NSW
STAY COVID-SAFE AS RESTRICTIONS EASED
Restrictions on entertainment venues, weddings, community sport and other gatherings have been eased recently, but strict physical distancing measures remain in place. Go to NSW.gov.au for the latest health advice and information about restrictions.
The following is now permitted in NSW:
- The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit, including function centres
- Kids’ and adult community sport can recommence
- Cultural and sporting events at large stadiums, theme parks, racecourses and motor racing tracks will be allowed up to 25 per cent of their normal seated capacity to a maximum of 10,000. Events must be ticketed, have allocated seating areas, and follow strict guidelines
- Alcohol can still be served to seated patrons only, including at conference and function venues
- Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can reopen subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule (up to 300 people)
The rules on gatherings remain the same: 20 guests inside a home (including holiday homes unless everyone is from the same household) and a maximum of 20 people gathering in a public place.
Nightclubs and music festivals are not permitted to operate under the current Public Health Order.
NSW Health has finalised checklists to support businesses that are allowed to operate to develop a COVID-Safe Business Plan. See the full suite of checklists at NSW.gov.au’s COVID-Safe business page.
Occupiers of the following tourism-related premises must have a COVID-Safe Business Plan and keep a copy on premises:
- Amusement centres
- Beauty and personal services
- Caravan parks and camping grounds
- Community centres
- Entertainment facilities (cinemas, theatres, music halls and concert halls)
- Food and drink premises
- Food courts
- Function centres
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- Information and education facilities (art galleries, museums and visitor information centres)
- Markets (non-food)
- Micro breweries and cellar doors
- Pubs, bars, registered clubs
- Recreation facilities (indoor)
- Recreation facilities major – theme parks, sports stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses and motor racing tracks
- Vessels used for commercial tours or functions
- Zoos and reptile parks
NSW Health is discouraging travel to and from specific areas of Victoria and Melbourne that the Victorian Government has identified as COVID hotspots at this time. Penalties apply to anyone who does not follow the Public Health Orders relating to travel to and from the identified hotspots.
All travellers are reminded to follow the latest health advice, including staying home if unwell or staying in if you’re already on the road and start feeling unwell.
NSW Health has developed resources for tourism operators to inform visitors about what to do if symptoms present while on holiday. See the social media assets, posters and door hangers at NSW Health.
For the latest information please go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19.
Australian Travel Status Map
Australia is slowly re-opening. The Australian Government has outlined a national three step plan to relax restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus. Travel and social distancing restrictions won’t be immediately lifting everywhere, though, with each state and territory moving forward at a pace that best suits their own individual circumstances. View the Travel Status Map here to find out where you can holiday.
Health and Hygiene
Good hygiene and physical distancing recommendations include:
- Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow
- Stay home if you are sick
- Practice physical distancing by standing two arm lengths apart (1.5m) at all times
What is the COVIDSafe app?
COVIDSafe was developed by the Australian Government to help keep the community safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). Together, let’s help stop the spread and keep ourselves and each other healthy.
COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth® technology on your mobile phone to look for other devices with COVIDSafe installed. Your device will take note of contact you’ve had with other users by securely logging their reference code. If you or someone you’ve been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19, the close contact information securely stored in your phone can be uploaded and used — with your consent — by state or territory health officials to quickly trace people who’ve been exposed to the virus.
For more inforamtion about the app, including how to download it, please click here.
Where to purchase Hand Sanitiser locally
The Flagstaff Group has a supply of Hand Sanitiser available now. Bring your own clean 5, 10, 15 or 20 litre containers and they will be filled, costing $11 per litre (gst included).
They also have prefilled bottles available for purchase:
- 750ml Trigger Bottles – $14.85 each (gst included)
- 20 Litre Tubs, with dispenser tap $249.92 (gst included)
The Flagstaff Group
260 Nolan Street, Unanderra NSW 2526
Ph. 02 4272 0252 / M. 0405 068 791