Given the high number of COVID-19 cases and exposure venues in the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA), Fairfield residents who work in other LGAs must now be tested for COVID-19 every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Additionally, workers from across Greater Sydney who work at locations more than 50km from the outer boundary of the Shellharbour, Wollongong, Wollondilly, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Central Coast LGAs must be tested for COVID-19 every seven days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms needs to stay away from work, get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
The same applies to people who have been directed to get tested due to their risk of exposure to COVID-19 through close-contact venues or their own close social contacts.
Asymptomatic workers who are tested as part of this new surveillance testing requirement do not need to self-isolate until they receive a negative result. However, if symptoms develop at any time, they should get re-tested immediately, and isolate until a negative result is received.
Commencing at 12.01am on 14 July, these requirements form part of a new public health order aimed at identifying undetected chains of transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 and preventing its spread to other communities.
However, a time-limited exemption is in place so that:
- From 14-16 July, workers from Fairfield LGA can continue to work in other LGAs if they have not been tested, however they must take reasonable steps to do so prior to 17 July. From 17 July, a worker must be tested every 72 hours to continue working outside Fairfield LGA; and
- From 14-18 July, workers from Greater Sydney can continue to work more than 50km from the outer boundary of the Shellharbour, Wollongong, Wollondilly, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Central Coast LGAs if they have not been tested, however they must take reasonable steps to do so prior to 19 July. From 19 July, a worker must be tested every seven days to continue working more than 50 kilometres outside of Greater Sydney.
Workers must provide evidence of the test upon request by their employer or a police officer.
Workers do not need to have received a negative COVID-19 result before attending work – they need only to have been tested within the past 72 hours. If a positive test result is received, the worker will need to self-isolate immediately, in line with a public health order and the usual COVID advice.
People in Greater Sydney should only attend work if they cannot work from home and employers must permit a worker to work from home if reasonably practicable.
The occupier of non-residential premises who have workers from Fairfield LGA on their premises must ensure that the worker can show they have been tested up to 72 hours prior to attending work. This applies to all people working at the premises (including employees, contractors and other service providers).
The worker must have proof of a test within the past three days available for inspection via text message, email or other form of evidence provided by a testing service or laboratory – if this is not supplied, premises owners must not permit a person who lives in the City of Fairfield LGA to work on their premises.
The testing requirement is only for people who live in the Fairfield LGA leaving for work in other LGAs, not people from other LGAs who enter Fairfield LGA for work purposes.
Similar obligations apply to Greater Sydney workers working outside of Greater Sydney, except that the timeframe for testing is every seven days.
Police can ask for identification information and evidence of having been tested for COVID-19 from people from Fairfield LGA to determine if they are complying with these requirements. Any breach of the order is subject to an on-the-spot fine of $1,000 for the worker and $5,000 for a corporation.
For serious breaches, workers and employers can be prosecuted in court and subject to a $11,000 fine or six months in jail for an individual, or $55,000 fine for a corporation.
Workers from Greater Sydney who are outside of the Greater Sydney region for work must comply with the stay-at-home orders currently in force in Greater Sydney while in regional NSW – that is, they should not go to a restaurant or a pub or go shopping for anything other than essential goods. They should only spend time at work and their accommodation while working in regional NSW.
At all times, please continue to:
- closely monitor for symptoms for COVID-19 and immediately get tested should you have the mildest of symptoms, regardless of where you live or work;
- isolate at home while waiting for your test result if you sought testing because you developed symptoms, or if directed to isolate at home by public health staff;
- refer to the NSW Health list of exposure sites/venues of concern and act on the guidance from NSW Health if you have been to any of these venues.
To support the new mandatory surveillance testing in Fairfield, a number of COVID-19 testing clinics are extending their opening hours and a new clinic is operating 24/7, including:
- Fairfield Showground Syd-Path Drive-Through Clinic, 443 Smithfield Road, Prairiewood – open every day from 6.30am to 10pm until further notice
- Smithfield Douglass Hanly Moir Drive-Through Clinic, Brenan Park, Bourke Street, Smithfield – open every day from 6am to 8pm until further notice
- Fairfield West Laverty Pop-Up Drive-Through Clinic, Endeavour Sports Park Car Park, Maud Street, Fairfield West – open 24/7 until further notice
- Bossley Park Laverty Pathology Drive-Through Clinic, Club Marconi, 121-133 Prairie Vale Road (enter via Restwell Road to underground park), Bossley Park – open every day from 8.30am to 6pm until further notice
- Wetherill Park 4Cyte Drive-Through Clinic, 22-30 Mansfield Street (enter via 31 Rosetti Street), Wetherill Park – open every day except Saturdays from 8am to 8pm until further notice.