TRANSPORT for New South Wales has issued a notice confirming freight workers who do not have any symptoms who have been tested for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate while waiting for results.
This follows widespread concerns that new orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer in New South Wales could cause freight movements to grind to a halt.
“The NSW government has heard your feedback and we understand your questions regarding testing for freight workers,” TFNSW executive director freight Susie Mackay said in a statement to industry.
“Transport for NSW has been working closely with NSW Health and we can clarify that while a nationally consistent protocol is being developed, testing every seven days is encouraged, but is not mandatory, as part of the COVID-19 Safety Plan. We will update you if that position changes.”
Ms Mackay said Transport for NSW and NSW Health were working closely with federal and state counterparts on a nationally consistent approach for implementation of the national Protocol for Domestic Border Controls – Freight Movements.
Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said while there was still “some work to be done”, they appreciated “the enormous support we have received from members as we work hard to resolve border crossing issues with South Australia and New South Wales”.
“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,” Mr Anderson said.
“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.”
There is still some confusion at the border between Victoria and South Australia, with local media referring to “freight chaos at the SA border”.