NSW Health Orders - What do regional stay-at-home orders mean for primary industries?
Primary industry workers are classed as essential workers
Within the rules, it is a reasonable excuse to leave home if you cannot reasonably work from home and if the business is allowed to be open.
Employers must allow an employee to work from home if the employee is reasonably able to do so. Individuals who cannot work from home and attend the workplace must wear a mask at all times when working indoors or outdoors.
Can workers travel?
- Workers can only travel in a vehicle with people they live with when travelling to and from work.
- If required to travel in a work vehicle whilst on duty, workers can travel with another worker if it is required.
- Masks should be worn.
- Carry proof of address and supporting evidence when travelling for work such as a letter from the employer.
- If a worker needs to travel, they should take the most practicable route and only stop for essential needs such as fuel, rest stops or to deal with an emergency.
Permit system to enter regional NSW
From 12.01am, Saturday, 21 August, any person from Greater Sydney who wishes to travel to regional NSW for the following reasons must have a permit which will be made available on Service NSW:
- inspecting real estate. Any person inspecting real estate in the regions must now genuinely need a home to live in (no investment properties); and
- travelling to your second home. This is now only allowed if you are using the home for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).
NSW's Chief Health Officer has asked residents to start complying with these rules immediately.
In terms of police checks in your area, having paperwork (such as relevant COVID safety plan for businesses and/or transport plan) should assist.
Implications for farms
Stud farms are required to regularly check and adhere to regulations as directed by NSW government for business operations, farm staff are considered as essential workers on the basis of livestock welfare.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has produced an updated industry guideline for industry participants, we encourage everyone to make use of these guides and templates prepared.
Easily download the information from the following links;
COVID-19 Safety Plan Template For Freight And Transport
We are conscious that the situation is changing rapidly and that these guidelines may need to be revised in the light of developments, including any advice and directions given by public health officials.
We encourage everyone to keep their workforce regularly informed about COVID safe protocols including wearing of masks in all areas, sanitising and social distancing. All NSW agricultural businesses are required to have a COVID safe plan and NSW Gov QR code, staff and essential visitors are required to check in and out of the premises. For access to and more information on NSW COVID safe resources for Agriculture please visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/agriculture
Contactless delivery of horses into holding yards and the use of transport service companies, where possible, is again encouraged. Should staff be required to move horses for walk-ons, they must comply with the Stud farm’s COVID plan and regularly check for public health changes.
Refer also to COVID-19 Safety Plan Template for Freight and Transport and comments mentioned above.
Doing our part to keep the industry operating
With the evolving health situation in NSW and the breeding season upon us, it is a timely reminder that our staff are the front line of our industry. As we embark on our busy season, we recognise that our staff are essential to the wellbeing and welfare of our livestock.
We encourage all farms and their staff to take every precaution to stay safe – including farm staff being vaccinated as soon as possible and being tested if there is any uncertainty about recently visited areas of concern.
Information about where to get tested and how to access vaccinations are provided in the links below.
To find out where to get tested https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics
For vaccinations https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccination-nsw
We are here to help so please reach out if you have any questions or need assistance.