With the NSW border currently closed to Victoria to help curb the spread of COVID-19, NSW Health has made some welcome concessions for freight operators.
Though the border closure has been in place since Wednesday 8 July, NSW Health has now updated wording in its COVID-19 Safety Plan for transport freight and logistics operations. While COVID-19 testing every seven days is still encouraged, it is now not mandatory for freight workers.
“There have been many meetings, conversations and correspondence to governments and jurisdictions to elevate the issues with the changes to border crossing regulations, including the unworkable seven-day COVID testing requirement for all cross-border drivers,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“We have had some success with NSW now making change to their directive and making the seven-day testing optional and not mandatory. There is still some work to be done to ensure that common sense prevails.”
Furthermore, freight workers unable to access a test in Victoria can seek access to one in NSW; and freight workers who have been tested for COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms are not required to self-isolate while awaiting test results.
To view the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Transport freight and logistic operations, please click here.
The VTA is also currently working to resolve border crossing issues with South Australia for freight workers. To assist drivers at the South Australian border the VTA has formulated a letter that aims to assist drivers when stopped. This can be accessed here.
As Mr Anderson explained, “The letter will by no means guarantee any consideration, but it may give the driver some comfort as they go about their essential work.”