Some workers in rural and regional NSW now allowed to carpool

Some workers in rural and regional NSW will now be allowed to carpool.

The NSW Government has announced changes to the Public Health Order this morning which will allow workers, mostly agricultural workers, to go to and from work by carpool.

“Living in regional communities and working in ag industries that underpin them presents a unique set of logistical challenges, including having to travel vast distances,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro.

“The NSW Government has taken community feedback onboard and made this COVID-safe change to help primary industries overcome barriers created by this virus.”

Under stay at home orders, you must not carpool with people you do not live with, however, you can travel in a car with your nominated visitor “singles bubble” to exercise.

If you use a vehicle for work, you are allowed to carpool where it is required for your work such as police officers working in a team of 2 people and a team of removalists working together.

The amendment today makes it possible for workers who need to carpool to get to and from work possible.

Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall said this exemption would help the agricultural industry prepare for worker movement ahead of a predicted record harvest.

“I have heard of abattoir workers, shearers and fruit pickers not being able to get to work as they don’t have a car or a licence, which will have a profound flow-on effect for the agricultural supply chain,” Mr Marshall said.

The exemption: 

The exemption applies to rural and regional NSW residents who have not been in Greater Sydney in the previous 14 days. Workers will also need to have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or be booked in to receive it before Friday, 10 September.

To ensure health and safety, employers and employees must:

  • Use a vehicle that has been arranged by an employer for the transport of staff to and from home and work,
  • Workers must sign in through a Service NSW app, which are available to businesses and employers online, when entering the vehicle,
  • Wear a face mask at all times, and
  • Where practicable, keep windows down and circulate outside air.

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