COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (5 September 2021)

After 10 weeks of lockdown and restrictions (since 26 June 2021), the NSW Government has announced amendments yesterday (at 4 pm) to their NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order (No 2) 2021. The key changes are:


  • first dose of COVID vaccinations are needed by Sunday, 19 September 2021 (not 6 September 2021);
  • evidence of bookings for the first dose of COVID vaccinations must be made by Thursday, 9 September 2021; and
  • these apply to early childhood education and care personnel who:
    • are leaving an area of concern for work;
    • works in an area of concern;
    • who lives in an area of concern.

Currently, the list of areas of concern (as listed in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the NSW Public Health Order) are:


  • Bayside local government area
  • City of Blacktown local government area
  • Burwood local government area
  • City of Campbelltown local government area
  • Canterbury-Bankstown local government area
  • Cumberland local government area
  • City of Fairfield local government area
  • Georges River local government area
  • City of Liverpool local government area
  • City of Parramatta local government area
  • Strathfield local government area
  • Certain parts of the City of Penrith:
    1. Caddens;
    2. Claremont Meadows;
    3. Colyton;
    4. Erskine Park;
    5. Kemps Creek;
    6. Kingswood;
    7. Mount Vernon;
    8. North St Marys
    9. Orchard Hills;
    10. Oxley Park;
    11. St Clair;
    12. St Marys.

PRIORITISED VACCINATIONS FOR ECEC


ECEC personnel have access to the following to access prioritised COVID vaccinations:


FULL VACCINATIONS FOR ALL ECEC PERSONNEL BY 8 NOVEMBER 2021 ACROSS ALL OF NSW


In the context of the second extension for vaccination as outlined above, please note that the Australan Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW was already seeking urgent clarification about the comprehensive mandatory vaccination (ie two doses) for all early childhood education and care personnel across all of New South Wales by 8 November 2021, especially in the context that the relevant NSW Public Health Order (or equivalent) has not yet been published.


THE NSW PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS EXPLAINED


The following provides the more comprehensive information and clarification on the impacts on early childhood education and care (ECEC) services (in particular long daycare services):


FAMILIES (IE PARENTS/GUARDIANS & CHILDREN)


  1. Any/all parents/guardians from across Greater Sydney and Regional NSW can continue to attend, drop-off and pick-up their child/ren from their ECEC services (including during the curfew period of 9 pm and 5 am) (see also Clause 4.1, Clause 4.2 and Item 3 of Schedule 2 – Reasonable Excuses of the NSW Public Health Order).

OPERATIONAL


  1. ECEC services may continue to remain open to the public (see Clause 3.4(2)(d), Clause 3.7(b), Clause 4.5(2)(d), Clause 4.8(b) and Item 11 of Schedule 3 – Exempted Gatherings of the NSW Public Health Order).

  2. Singing in non-residential premises are allowed if the premises are an educational establishment (see Clause 2.11(2)(b), Clause 3.19(2)(b) and Clause 4.20(2)(b) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  3. Persons over the age of 12 years of age must wear a fitted face coverings while the person is in an indoor or outdoor area while the person is working (see Clause 3.15(2)(a) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  4. Persons may remove a fitted face covering if the person is engaging in work and enunciation or visibility of the person’s mouth is essential (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(1)(d)(ii) and Clause 4.18(1)(d)(ii) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  5. Persons may remove a fitted face covering if the person is required to remove the covering for the proper provision of goods or service (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(1)(f)(ii) and Clause 4.18(1)(f)(ii) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  6. Persons who remove the person's fitted face covering must resume wearing it as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(2) and Clause 4.18(2) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  7. Persons over the age of 12 years of age must carry a fitted face covering unless the person is in the person's place of residence (see Clause 3.15(1) of the NSW Public Health Order).

  8. A person is not required to carry or wear a fitted face covering on the basis of health, disability, or its unsuitability with evidence in the form of a medical certificate or other written evidence from a registered health practitioner or NDIS provider or by statutory declaration (see Clause 3.16 of the NSW Public Health Order).

  9. For all other staff who are not working directly with children, employers must allow an employee to work at the employee's place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so (see Clause 2.10(1), Clause 3.18 and Clause 4.19 of the NSW Public Health Order).

EDUCATORS/TEACHERS & OTHER STAFF


  1. Including the areas of concern (ie Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) and the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys), ECEC personnel who are at least 16 years old are Authorised Workers and can leave their local government area for work (see Clause 4.3 and Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the NSW Public Health Order).

  2. From [AMENDED] Thursday, 9 September 2021, ECEC personnel as Authorised Workers who are at least 16 years of age who are from OR who are entering into OR whose work is in the areas of concern (ie Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) or the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys), must have had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or has been issued with a medical contraindication certificate (ie exemption). S/he must carry evidence of her/his name and place of residence and produce it for inspection to their employer, or police officer, or occupier of the place of work, or an authorised officer. This also does not apply if s/he has not been in the abovementioned listed areas of concern in the previous 14 days (see Clause 4.3, Clause 4.24 and Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the NSW Public Health Order).​

  3. From Monday, 30 August 2021, ECEC personnel who are at least 16 years old as Authorised Workers who are entering into an area of concern (ie Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) or the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys)​ must carry a permit issued by Service NSW (see Clause 4.3A of the NSW Public Health Order).

  4. From 31 July 2021, ECEC personnel who reside within the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area as Authorised Workers can leave their local government area for work but must be COVID tested within 72 hours (ie 3 days) and be able to provide such evidence to an employer or occupier of the service or a police offer (see Clause 6.5 of the NSW Public Health Order and the Notice from the NSW Chief Health Officer).

  5. All ECEC personnel from within Greater Sydney must not enter premises for work that are more than 50 kilometres outside Greater Sydney unless s/he has been tested for COVID-19 in the previous 7 days, carries evidence of the test, the person's name and place of residence, as well as a permit issued by Service NSW available for inspection by their employer or a police officer (see Clause 5.3, Clause 5.4(1)(a), Clause 5.4(2) and Clause 6.4 of the NSW Public Health Order).

FINES AND/OR PENALTIES


Please note that fines and penalties for breaching NSW Public Health Orders are in the order of $1,000 to $55,000 for individuals and corporations, and may also include imprisonment for up to 6 months.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


ACA NSW also strongly recomment that ECEC services observe:



Should you require any further information or clarification, please contact:


And for all COVID related information for the early childhood education and care sector, please visit ACA NSW's COVIDwatch.


PUBLISHED: 6 SEPTEMBER 2021

COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (23 September 2021)

COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (23 September 2021)

Leave review
After more than 12 weeks of lockdown and restrictions (since 26 June 2021),...
Read More
COVID-19: Anticipating Mandatory Vaccinations

COVID-19: Anticipating Mandatory Vaccinations

Leave review
At the time of writing this article, early childhood education and care ser...
Read More
Finalists announced for Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards!  Event rescheduled to 2022

Finalists announced for Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards! Event rescheduled to 2022

Leave review
It is with sadness that the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW has dec...
Read More
COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (11 September 2021)

COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (11 September 2021)

Leave review
After 11 weeks of lockdown and restrictions (since 26 June 2021), the NSW G...
Read More
Suspending the Clawback of CCS

Suspending the Clawback of CCS

Leave review
Read More
COVID Watch
FAQs