NSW reached its 70% double vaccination target this week and, as a result, will take its first steps towards reopening. This also means the point to point transport industry will start getting back on the road. The roadmap outline by NSW Government may be subject to fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or cases remain too high. Further advice may need to be provided when NSW reaches the 80% double vaccination target.
While the Industry can expect an increase in demand for passenger services, we’d like to remind our service providers of the importance of ensuring their Safety Management Systems are up-to-date and they have a COVID safety plan to make sure their drivers, vehicles and passengers are back on the road in a safe and compliant way.
What hasn’t changed?
Masks will remain mandatory for drivers and passengers. Masks must be worn at all times by drivers and passengers when travelling in taxis, hire vehicles and rideshare when a passenger service is being provided or whenever at a public waiting area, including a Taxi Rank..
Mandatory mask wearing does not apply to children 12 and under, and persons with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable. Exemptions must be carried.
NSW Government QR codes to remain mandatory in all point to point transport vehicles.
QR code check-in is still mandatory for drivers and passengers. Drivers must check-in using the vehicle’s NSW Government QR code at the start of the shift and they should also check out when their shift is finished. Drivers should encourage passengers to check-in using the NSW Government QR code in their vehicle.
Vehicle Sanitisation Stations are still be available. Drivers are strongly encouraged to utilise the VSS closest to them. This service is free and each vehicle can be sanitised up to twice a day.
Key changes and FAQs for the industry
Will drivers who live in LGAs of concern be able to provide passenger services throughout Greater Sydney from Monday 11 October 2021? What is happening to the authorised worker requirements? Yes.
LGAs currently categorised as areas of concern will be in line with the rest of Greater Sydney. This means drivers can provide passenger services throughout Greater Sydney.
From 11 October 2021 there will no longer be authorised worker requirements.
Do drivers and passengers need to be vaccinated?
All drivers and passengers are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. However, there is currently no mandated requirement for drivers or passengers to be vaccinated. Drivers do not need to ask passengers for proof of vaccination status. Do drivers still need a travel permit to leave Greater Sydney? No.
Drivers from Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast) no longer require a travel permit to travel outside Greater Sydney.
Is there a limit to how many passengers a driver can carry in their vehicle?
Currently under the Public Health Order there are no passenger limitations placed on point to point transport vehicles.
It is recommended, where possible, passengers sit in the back of the vehicle and follow the COVID Safe advice that is in place and available on our website.
What are the rules for close contacts?
Everyone, vaccinated and not vaccinated, must get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately self-isolate until a negative result is received.
Whether a driver or employee is vaccinated or not vaccinated, if they test positive for COVID-19 they must self-isolate for 14 days.
The advice currently stands that if a driver is a close contact of a positive case and vaccinated, they must get tested and self-isolate for seven days. On day six after exposure, they must get tested again. If a negative result is received and the driver is well, they can end isolation after day seven. This advice may change in which case we will update you.
If a driver is a close contact of a positive case and not vaccinated they must get tested and immediately self-isolate for 14 days. On day 12, they should get tested again. If a negative result is received, they can end isolation after day 14
Businesses must inform NSW Health if three or more employees test positive for COVID-19 in a seven-day period.
Reporting positive COVID-19 cases, service providers still need to notify the Commissioner when they become aware that a driver has tested positive for COVID-19 by completing the COVID-19 reporting form on the Industry Portal.
What about employees who aren’t drivers and are not fully vaccinated, such as office and call centre workers?
An employer must allow an employee who is a fully vaccinated person to work at the employee’s place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so.
An employer must require an employee who is not a fully vaccinated person to work at the employee’s place of residence unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so.
In addition to the above, to help you better understand your obligations from Monday 11 October 2021, please refer to summary table below:
Summary of requirements for point to point transport industry from Monday 11 October 2021
Please note: the information contained in this email is correct at time of publication. This advice is subject to change if the Public Health Order was to be amended by NSW Government.
COVID Safe tips for the point to point transport industry
Passengers should sit in the back seat
Use contactless payment methods where available
Do not travel if unwell, stay home and get tested immediately
Passengers should handle their own luggage
Drivers are encouraged to sanitise their vehicle at the end of each shift at a minimum.
Stay up to date
We will continue to update you as soon as more information comes to hand, particularly if there are any changes to the Public Health Order. We thank the Industry for staying the course and for its continued commitment to keep passengers, drivers and the community safe. It is pleasing for everyone that restrictions easing will allow the industry to start getting back to normal but it is important safety remains the top priority