While the COVID-19 situation in Sydney remains challenging, in welcome news, construction can resume on Saturday 31 July in Greater Sydney (including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour). In further good news for the industry, worksites will be permitted to operate on Sundays and public holidays, up until Christmas, to allow businesses to make up for time lost during the recent shutdown.
However, major restrictions are still in place. Here is what you can and cannot do from 31 July 2021.
Construction works are still banned in the following LGAs (and construction workers living in these LGAs are not allowed to leave their area for work):
If you live and work outside of those eight LGAs:
- Construction works in non-occupied settings are allowed so long as the number of workers on-site is limited to one person per 4 square metres. “Non-occupied setting” means constructions sites where there are no residents.
- Contractors including cleaners can attend and carry out necessary prescribed work at a place of residence, even if it is occupied. Prescribed work includes cleaning, repairs, maintenance alterations and additions to buildings or work carried out as part of a trade – including electrical work or plumbing.
Prescribed work is necessary if it is:
- Urgently required to be carried out to ensure the health, safety, or security of the place of residence or person residing there or because of an emergency.
- For the installation, maintenance, or repair of an essential utility such as water, gas, electricity, internet, television or telecommunications.
- For fire protection and safety.
In these settings, a maximum of two workers are allowed for indoor services and five workers for outdoor services.
Prescribed work that is cleaning or repairs and maintenance may only be carried out at a place of residence if the place of residence is unoccupied when the work is being done and because it is necessary for the sale or lease of the place of residence.
As part of the return to work, new COVID protocols have been introduced that must be followed by all workers and worksites. These protocols include various measures aimed at reducing the risk of a covid outbreak, such as controlling movement between sites, reduced contact between workers and improved tracing capability in case something does go wrong. In addition, the NSW government is encouraging all eligible workers to get vaccinated in an effort to help keep the industry operating.
This article is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Madison Marcus. Our dedicated construction and infrastructure team is available to provide immediate assistance to help navigate this unprecedented period.