Stay at Home Orders now apply across the whole of Regional New South Wales




Key Member Takeaways

  • The stay at home restrictions which apply across the Greater Sydney Area now apply across all of Regional New South Wales until 22nd August, 2021

  • New Public Health Order (PHO) extend the lockdown imposed on Armidale, Tamworth, Far North Region, Hunter/Newcastle, Northern Rivers region

  • Restrictions on people movement mean Members need to consider if employees can work from home and restrictions on Retail Operations

  • New provision added that requires persons to answer questions of Contact Tracers

A. Restrictions on Movement

Members across the whole of regional New South Wales are now subject to the same “stay at home” restrictions which apply across the Greater Sydney Region. There restrictions commence at 12.01am on the 16th August, 2021 and continue until 12.01 on the 22nd August, 2021 or until further notice.
Members need to be aware that in addition to the existing requirements surrounding face masks and gatherings, key restrictions which will affect their operations include:

  1. Residents must not leave home to work within their LGA unless:

  • it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work at the employee’s place of residence, and

  • if the person is required to visit another person’s place of residence to engage in work—the person is authorised under clause 22A in the Public Health Order (“PHO”).

  1. Residents must not leave home to work outside of the LGA unless:

  • it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work at the employee’s place of residence, and

  • if the person is required to visit another person’s place of residence to engage in work—the person is authorised under clause 22A in the PHO.

  • carry evidence showing the address of the person’s place of residence or temporary accommodation, and

  • produce the evidence for inspection if requested to do so by a police officer.

  1. A person outside of this LGA must not, without a reasonable excuse as per Schedule 1 in the PHO enter into this LGA.

  2. A person must not travel more than 5km from home for either exercise or obtaining food and other essential items.

  3. A person must carry evidence of their place of residence and produce this evidence for inspection if requested to do so by a Police Officer.

  4. Many of the retail businesses listed under Clause 24 in the PHO are to be closed during the lockdown. However, Members retail operations including selling vehicles to the public, are only permitted if:

  • a “click and collect” service, where a person buys, returns or exchanges goods by telephone or online and then attends the retail premises to collect, exchange or return the goods, or

  • delivering goods to a person’s place of residence or other premises after the person has bought the goods by telephone or online.

Businesses that are allowed to be opened must incorporate and comply with the approved COVID-19 Safety Plan
Members in Regional New South Wales need to be aware that the 72 hours specific COVID-19 testing regimes that apply to certain Local Government Areas contained within Greater Sydney do not apply to them. The usual requirements for COVID-19 testing in circumstances where a person has symptoms or is identified as a close or casual contact do apply.


B. Requirement to Answer Questions from Contact Tracers

The new PHO has also included an additional requirement surrounding the obligation to answer questions asked by Contact Tracers. The PHO stipulates:

  1. That a person, at the request of an authorised contact tracer, must answer questions or provide other information about the person’s movements; and

  2. That a person at the request of an authorised contact tracer, must provide the person’s contact details to the authorised contact tracer.

C. Fines and Penalties

Members should note that the fines relating to staff working from home are significant. Businesses that do not require employees to work from home if they are reasonably able to do so, face a fine of up to:

  1. $10,000 for Corporations and

  2. $2,000 for individuals

If Members have any questions or queries surrounding the latest updates then please contact the MTA NSW Employment Relations team at P: (02) 90169000 or at E: [email protected]



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