A breakdown of the latest COVID-19 restrictions in NSW as they relate to ECEC

A breakdown of the latest COVID-19 restrictions in NSW as they relate to ECEC

by Freya Lucas

August 24, 2021

An updated NSW Public Health Order came into effect from Saturday 21 August 2021 following eight weeks of lockdown and restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

 

The piece below provides a brief overview of the restrictions as they relate to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. For up to date information please refer to the NSW Health website, here

 

Families 

 

  1. Any/all parents/guardians from across Greater Sydney and Regional NSW can continue to attend, drop-off and pick-up their child/ren from their early childhood education and care (ECEC) services (including during the curfew period of 9 pm and 5 am) (see also Clause 4.1, Clause 4.2 and Item 3 of Schedule 2 – Reasonable Excuses of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

Operational

 

  1. ECEC services may continue to remain open to the public (see Clause 3.4(2)(d), Clause 3.7(b), Clause 4.5(1)(c), Clause 4.5(2)(d), Clause 4.8(b) and Item 11 of Schedule 3 – Exempted Gatherings of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  2. Singing in non-residential premises is allowed if the premises are an educational establishment (see Clause 2.11(2)(b), Clause 3.19(2)(b) and Clause 4.20(2)(b) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  3. [NEW] Persons over the age of 12 years of age must wear a fitted face coverings while the person is in an indoor or outdoor area while the person is working (see Clause 3.15(h) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  4. Persons over the age of 12 years of age must wear a fitted face covering while the person is in an indoor area of premises other than a place of residence (see Clause 3.15(2)(a) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  5. Persons may remove a fitted face covering if the person is engaging in work and enunciation or visibility of the person’s mouth is essential (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(1)(d)(ii) and Clause 4.18(1)(d)(ii) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  6. Persons may remove a fitted face covering if the person is required to remove the covering for the proper provision of goods or service (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(1)(f)(ii) and Clause 4.18(1)(f)(ii) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  7. Persons who remove the person’s fitted face covering must resume wearing it as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends (see Other Exceptions Clause 2.9(2) and Clause 4.18(2) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  8. Persons over 12 years of age must carry a fitted face covering unless the person is in the person’s place of residence (see Clause 3.15(1) of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  9. [NEW] A person is not required to carry or wear a fitted face covering on the basis of health, disability, or its unsuitability with evidence in the form of a medical certificate or other written evidence from a registered health practitioner or NDIS provider or by statutory declaration (see Clause 3.16 of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  10. For all other staff who are not working directly with children, employers must allow an employee to work at the employee’s place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so (see Clause 2.10(1) and Clause 4.19 of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

Educators/teachers & other staff

 

  1. Notwithstanding the areas of the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) and the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys, ECEC personnel are Authorised Workers and can leave their local government area for work (see Clause 4.3 of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  2. [NEW] From Monday 30 August 2021, ECEC personnel as Authorised Workers who are from the areas of the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) or the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys, must not leave their area of residence until they have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or has been issued with a medical contraindication certificate. S/he must carry evidence of her/his name and place of residence and produce it for inspection to their employer, or police officer, or occupier of the place of work, or an authorised officer. This does not apply if s/he has been tested as part of a COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program approved by the Chief Health Officer. This also does not apply if s/he has not been in the abovementioned listed areas in the previous 14 days (see Clause 4.3 and Clause 4.24 of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  3. [NEW] From Monday 30 August 2021, ECEC personnel as Authorised Workers who are entering into the areas of the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Bayside, Burwood, Strathfield local government areas (LGAs) or the Penrith LGA suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys must carry a permit issued by Service NSW (see clause 4.3A of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

  4. From 31 July 2021, ECEC personnel who reside within the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area as Authorised Workers can leave their local government area for work but must be COVID tested within 72 hours (i.e. three days) and be able to provide such evidence to an employer or occupier of the service or a police offer (see Clause 6.5 of the latest NSW Public Health Order and the Notice from the NSW Chief Health Officer).

  5. [UPDATED] All ECEC personnel from within Greater Sydney must not enter premises for work that are more than 50 km outside Greater Sydney unless s/he has been tested for COVID-19 in the previous seven days, carries evidence of the test, the person’s name and place of residence, as well as a permit issued by Service NSW available for inspection by their employer or a police officer (see Clause 5.3, Clause 5.4(1)(a), Clause 5.4(2) and Clause 6.4 of the latest NSW Public Health Order).

PLEASE NOTE: As broadcast by the NSW Department of Education on 15 August 2021, prioritised vaccinations for ECEC educators in the areas of concern are available via a particular process for Authorised Workers.

 

Fines and/or Penalties

 

Fines and penalties for breaching NSW Public Health Orders are in the order of $1,000 to $55,000 for individuals and corporations, and may also include imprisonment for up to six months.

 

Other Considerations

 

In a communication to members, ACA NSW also strongly recommend that ECEC services observe:

 

 

​For any further information or clarification, please contact:

 

 

To review this information in its original format, please see here

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