People living in the Fairfield local government area (LGA) who travel to other suburbs to perform essential work will be required to have a COVID-19 test every three days.
- Workers who need to travel out of the Fairfield local government for work will need to get tested every three days
- Anyone from Greater Sydney travelling to regional parts of NSW for essential work will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing
- Workers will not need to self-isolate while waiting for the results of testing
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new rules were part of a public health order that would come into effect from midnight on Tuesday.
Sydney’s south west has become the epicentre of new infections as NSW battles an outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant.
Ms Berejiklian appealed to people in the Fairfield area to stay at home, saying only essential workers should be leaving their local area.
“We do appreciate that for many citizens, conducting essential work is what all of us rely on but we just can’t afford to have the virus spread through that essential work,” she said.
NSW recorded 89 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday — 64 of them were from the south western Sydney local health district, which includes the Fairfield LGA.
Mandatory weekly testing has also been introduced for people from any part of Greater Sydney who are travelling to the regions for essential work.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said workers would not be required to self-isolate while they were waiting for the results of their tests.
“If you had them sitting at home and waiting for the test results, that wouldn’t be a practical measure,” he said.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant compared it to the measures in place for quarantine workers who undergo daily saliva testing without having to isolate.
“What we are doing is instituting surveillance testing,” Dr Chant said.
“This about balancing competing risks and benefits.”
The Premier appealed to employers to be vigilant about where their workers were travelling from.
“If you happen to have people on your work site or overseeing work or any type of activity in your private residence or commercial premises, please ask where they live and if they live or come from that area, a hotspot area, please ask when the last time was that they got tested,” she said.
Mr Hazzard said people should only be going to work if it was essential.
“What needs to be done here is to apply some common sense and if you really don’t need to leave your area, particularly in Fairfield, don’t leave,” he said.
“My message to the employers particularly is if you don’t need to have someone come from an area that is suspect and obviously has major COVID concerns presently, then perhaps it might be an idea to make arrangements for a worker from another areas.”
The Premier said health authorities were working to make sure testing could be easily accessed by workers in the Fairfield area.