New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again warned the state may need to tighten restrictions on businesses unless the private sector “steps up” its efforts to implement and enforce COVIDSafe plans.
Berejiklian said during a press conference on Wednesday that authorities will assume businesses that don’t register plans with the state government don’t have them.
“If we don’t see greater compliance, we will need to take further action,” Berejiklian said.
The NSW Government moved to make COVIDSafe plans mandatory across the state several weeks ago, after an initial self-regulation approach failed to ensure health and safety measures were widely adopted across the private sector.
But Berejiklian is still concerned compliance is too low, as workplaces across the state continue to report confirmed coronavirus cases.
“We’ve given, certainly, a grace period for businesses, for organisations, for different establishments to step up their COVIDSafe plans,” the Premier said.
“If they don’t do that, we will have to go that step further.”
COVIDSafe plans differ by industry, but in general they involve businesses making written commitments to adhere to certain hygiene, physical distancing and contract tracing requirements.
Businesses must complete at least a template version of a COVIDSafe plan for their industry and register it online with the NSW government.
Businesses that either don’t register COVIDSafe plans, or fail to adhere to them, can be fined up to $55,000.
Businesses with multiple premises or services must complete a separate plan for each place of business and each service they offer.
For example, a business that operates both a pub and brewery will require separate plans for the brewery side of the operation and the pub side, as well as additional plans for any other locations it owns and operates.