Over the past fortnight we have seen increasing reports in the media of new COVID-19 cases around Australia.
State and territory governments have moved quickly to implement local restrictions, with two States and the Greater Sydney area entering hard lockdown.
To assist members, the below is a brief breakdown of the permit and COVID-19 testing around Australia.
New South Wales
Essential freight workers entering New South Wales from an “affected area”, or who have been in a have been to a “place of concern” or “place of high concern” during the time period specified in the COVID-19 concerns notice, must complete the relevant NSW Entry Declaration (Declaration) within the 24-hour period prior to entering, or on entry.
As of 21 July, you must complete a Declaration for each entry from Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and South Australia. Entry from Queensland requires the completion of a Declaration every 72 hours. In addition, if you have travelled to more than one state in the previous 14 days you need to ensure you are completing the relevant Declarations to cover that 14 day period prior to entry.
While COVID-19 testing is not yet mandatory for freight workers outside Greater Sydney, NSW is strongly encouraging regular testing, every 7 days as part of an operator’s COVID Safety Plan.
Essential freight workers living in or staying (includes sleeping in cabin of truck) in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, must have a COVID-19 test in the 7 days before working if their workplace is 50 kilometres or more outside Greater Sydney.
Essential freight workers living in or staying (includes sleeping in cabin of truck) in the Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas but working outside this area, must have a COVID-19 test once every 72 hours (3 days) in order to be allowed to go to work as an authorised worker.
Freight friendly COVID-19 testing sites continue to be in operation 24 hours a day 7 days a week at:
- Taree Service Centre, Pacific Highway – map
- Narrabarba rest area, Princes Highway – map
- Forbes Caltex Service Centre, Newell Highway – map
- Narrandera Roadhouse, Newell Highway – map
- Tarcutta truck change-over yard, Sydney Street, off Hume Highway – map
All workers who enter Victoria from a red zone, currently NSW, ACT and SA, must use the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List permit and be tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days for the duration of the 14 day validity period of the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List permit on which they have entered Victoria.
Workers are not required to be tested for COVID-19 more than four times in any 14-day period, including where workers enter Victoria more than once in any 14 day period unless they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
While in Victoria, permit holders must carry and provide evidence (including a text message from a pathology provider) that they have taken the necessary tests.
Freight friendly testing facilities are available at the following locations:
- Southbound: Beveridge Truck Stop/NHVR Weighbridge, Hume Freeway, Beveridge. Open 6pm-6am daily (subject to change).
- Northbound: Broadford Weighbridge (NHVR), Hume Freeway, Broadford. Open 6pm-6am daily (subject to change)
To save time please complete a registration form prior to testing. Please choose your industry as Freight – Road. The form is available at the Testing support for Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Pre-fill webpage.
Essential freight workers entering Queensland who have been in or transited through any of the listed COVID-19 hotspots in the last 14 days, or since the start date identified for the COVID-19 hotspot, whichever is shorter are required to complete a Freight and Logistics Pass (F Pass).
Essential freight workers entering Queensland from anywhere else are required to complete a Queensland Travel Declaration. The Travel Declaration response will be designated as green, amber or red according to risk level. When you receive your Travel Declaration return via email, please read all instructions carefully and carry it with you at all times.
You must NOT complete the pass or declaration on behalf of another person.
Knowingly providing false, misleading or incorrect information is an offence under the Public Health Act 2005 punishable by a fine of $4,004, or a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345.
Essential freight workers must keep and retain written records of close contacts for a 14-day period commencing on their date of arrival in Queensland, or, if they remain in Queensland for a period of less than 14 days, for that period.
COVID-19 testing is not mandatory but is recommended. There are currently no heavy vehicle drive-in testing locations in Queensland. Freight drivers can be tested at Queensland Health testing clinics. Select the filter “Transport and logistics worker testing” to find a location where you can be tested free of charge.
Essential travellers travelling from New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria must:
(a) produce evidence of a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours preceding their arrival in SA; or
(b) submit to COVID-19 testing within 24 hours after their arrival in SA; and
(c) must use an approved contact tracing system (QR code), including at the testing station
Essential travellers from other restricted zones (e.g., Queensland) must comply with the current requirements (test day on day 1, 5 and 13, or evidence of a test or negative test result in the last 7 day).
All road transport operators must have a letter/documentation from their employer as well as their Cross Border Travel Registration when entering SA, and they must comply with the other requirements of essential travellers, including the wearing of a face mask when exiting the cab and when in contact with the public, maintaining close contact records, and the need to self-quarantine when not working.
All freight drivers need to complete a G2G PASS declaration to enter Western Australia and undergo a health screening upon arrival.
You will need to present to a COVID clinic for testing within 48 hours of arriving in WA unless you can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result not more than 5 days old prior to entering WA.
A Border Entry Form is required to be completed to enter the Northern Territory from any other state.
COVID-19 Freight Risk Mitigation Management Plans are also required to be completed and submitted before entering the NT.
Testing every seven days is mandatory for freight workers. COVID-19 testing can be booked by calling 0448 582 731.