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COVID Update – 2 October 2021

Oct 2, 2021COVID19

This week saw a further fall in the number of cases. NSW has now fallen below the 1000 per day figure, and we can only hope that trend continues. The situation remains on track for the first easing of restrictions to occur for fully vaccinated people on 11 October 2021. Significant restrictions will be lifted at that time; however we’ll have to wait for the 80% mark to be reached before we see a significant shift back to normal life. From 1 December 2021, most restrictions will be lifted for all people, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Members can find more information on the 80% and 1 December easing of restrictions here.

Unfortunately, we are still seeing cases pop up across the transport industry. This week there were active cases:

  • 21 at Sydney Trains
  • 9 at STA
  • 4 in the private bus networkl
  • 5 at Metro Trains
  • 4 at NSW Trains

As reported last week, rapid antigen testing was set up in 4 new sites last week. We have been informed that rapid antigen testing on those sites showed up 3 positive cases, however follow up COVID testing exposed them as false positives. Transport is predicting that from 1 November 2021, rapid antigen testing will be allowed to be performed unsupervised opening the door for this type of testing to become my widespread.

There have been some developments for members who are required to travel into Queensland for work:

  • From 5 October 2021, to enter Queensland from NSW you must have a valid F Pass (for Freight and Logistics)
  • From 5 October 2021, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result within 7 days prior to entering Queensland, and you must maintain a rolling 7-day testing regime (using a PCR test only) while travelling in and out of Queensland.
  • By 1am, on 15 October 2021, you must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter Queensland with an F Pass.
  • by 1am on 15 November 2021, you must have received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or provide evidence of a booking to receive the second dose.

With the reopening of the state now all but guaranteed to happen in the next couple of months, our attention will have to turn to working with the virus constantly circulating in the community. Some employers are making contingency plans for COVID outbreaks in critical workplaces such a Network Control Centres. If your employer is doing this, make sure that your HSRs and delegates are involved, and if in doubt, contact your organiser. Obviously it’s in everyone’s interests to ensure a safe work place, but we always need to be on the lookout for management trying to take advantage of the situation.

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