*Last updated 26 July 2021.
On Saturday 17 July 2021, the NSW Premier announced further COVID-19 restrictions to reduce community transmission across NSW. Additional COVID-19 restrictions which directly impact carers are summarised below – more information can be found on the NSW Government COVID-19 website.
Stay at home
Everyone in Greater Sydney should stay at home unless they absolutely have to leave. Greater Sydney includes all Sydney suburbs, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. From 21 July 2021, stay at home orders also apply to the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney local government areas in NSW.
For some carers, leaving their home will be necessary, for example: to buy essential items for the person they care for, or to access essential services with the person they care for. These situations are covered under the reasonable excuses listed in the public health order, and include:
- Obtaining food or other goods and services for the person you care for. If possible, only one person in each household should leave home for this reason on a particular day and you should travel directly to and from the shops, and stay within your local government area or within 10km of your home
- Obtaining medical care or health supplies (including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination, as long as you are not a close contact) or fulfilling carer’s responsibilities
- Providing care or assistance, including personal care, to a vulnerable person, or providing emergency assistance
- Accessing public services, whether provided by Government, a private provider or a non-Government organisation, including social services and mental health services
When leaving your home for any of the reasons above:
- Avoid travelling in a car with people from another household wherever possible
- You must carry proof of your address and provide this to NSW Police if requested
- You must carry a face mask with you at all times and wear it when you are indoors, or when you are outdoors and unable to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres
Formal care and support services
Due to recently added COVID-19 restrictions, carers in NSW may be concerned or confused about whether paid care workers are allowed to continue providing in-home care services to their family member or friend. In-home care services are allowed to continue, including cleaning and maintenance services provided through aged care and disability service providers, but there are some new rules for workers:
- People working as paid disability or aged care workers who live in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and Blacktown areas are considered ‘authorised workers’ and allowed to leave home for work. Those in the Fairfield area (or Canterbury-Bankstown if they work in a residential aged care facility or are a health worker) must get a COVID-19 test once every three days and carry evidence of the test for their employer.
- Paid care workers who live in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) and are working 50km or more outside Greater Sydney must have a COVID-19 test in the prior 7 days to working.
The NSW Government also continues to require all home care staff in NSW to wear a mask, and encourages people receiving in-home care services in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) to wear a mask while services are being provided.
Tailored information for carers
Carers NSW is holding practical, interactive workshops for carers to reflect on ways to stay safe, focus on health and wellbeing and squeeze in time for self-care during COVID-19. More information can be found on the Upcoming Events page of the Carers NSW website, where you can register directly.
Continued updates will be provided via Carers NSW Facebook page, and Carers NSW will continue to update the FAQs fact sheet developed for carers, to clarify some of the key information from the current public health order and NSW Health advice. You can download this by clicking on the link below.