NSW makes late changes to vaccination and testing rules for workers in Sydney hotspots

sydney hotspot

Source: Unsplash/Jakayla Toney.

Workers in Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots who are authorised to leave their area for work now have until next Monday to receive their first coronavirus vaccine, following last minute changes to public health orders.

The NSW government updated its vaccination and testing rules for frontline workers who need to leave the 12 local government areas of concern (LGAs) for work late on Friday.

Under the revised rules, authorised workers over 16 years living in a COVID-19 hotspot must have either received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine or have a medicate certificate before Monday September 6 to leave their area for work.

The NSW government also removed the option for workers to undergo rapid antigen testing rather than getting vaccinated.

The last minute changes come amid new worker permit requirements for authorised workers entering or leaving an LGA of concern for work.

From Saturday, August 28, authorised workers from the 12 COVID-19 hotspots are required to carry a permit that declares they are an authorised worker and cannot work from home.

Anyone entering an LGA of concern for the purpose of work must also carry a worker permit issued by Service NSW.

There are currently 12 LGAs of concern including Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and some suburbs of Penrith.

The hotpot suburbs in Penrith are Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.

To be eligible to receive a permit, workers must be employed in one of the 13 sectors that include authorised workers. These industries range from construction to retail and warehousing services and exclude emergency services.

Registrations for the permits opened less than 48 hours ahead of the new system coming into effect on Saturday, leaving workers little time to apply for a permit.

To register, workers need to have a MyService NSW account and provide information about their workplace and travel details.

Workers who do not know where they will work before leaving their area can register as an authorised worker with unknown work address.

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