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Covid update – 25 Sept

Sep 25, 2021COVID19

While case numbers remain high in the thousands, there has been a steady downward trend over the last week. This reprieve looks as though it will be short lived with health advisers and the Government warning that once the state reopens at 70% and 80% vaccination targets, numbers will dramatically rise. We have heard warnings that the health system could be overwhelmed in the coming weeks, and the Government has been busy enrolling recently retired medical professionals to assist.

This week we saw more regional LGAs enter lockdown. Kempsey, Byron and Tweed LGAs entered lockdown from 5pm Tuesday 21 September and will remain so until 29 September and Cowra entered lockdown from 5pm Monday 20 September until Tuesday 28 September.

Despite the unpredictable health situation, things are on track for some restrictions to lift with the predicted date now being 11 October 2021. This will be the first easing of restrictions for members in the Greater Sydney Area since June and will surely be widely welcomed by many.

Next week, rapid antigen testing will be rolled out at four new sites in Sydney:

  • Clyde Network Base
  • Kingsgrove Bus Depot
  • Burwood Bus Depot
  • Granville Mechanical Inspection Services

So far during COVID, operators covered by the Transport for NSW umbrella (public and private) have had 287 cases. There are currently 96 active cases with:

  • Sydney Trains – 24
  • STA and private bus operators – 11
  • NSW Trains – 7
  • Metro Trains – 4

In a meeting with Transport for NSW yesterday, we were advised that the practice adopted by Transport operators to give preference for shifts to members not in the LGAs of concern has been directed to stop. From here on out if you meet the vaccination requirement to leave your LGA, you should be rostered as normal.

Base timetables will return on 10 October 2021. Sydney Trains stations are to be reopened and station staff are set to head back to work at their stations.

We are continuing to agitate for rapid antigen testing across every site in NSW. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it, the only way to ensure ongoing protection from COVID is a combination of vaccination and rapid antigen testing. Particularly when NSW opens back up over the coming months, we need more than ever to ensure that COVID doesn’t ravage the transport sector.

As always, stay safe.

RTBU NSW

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