Fairfield print staff to be tested every three days

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Print and packaging staff who live in NSW's Fairfield local government area and travel to work in print and packaging businesses outside it need to be tested every three days from now on if they have no symptoms.

Stopping Victoria: Covid-19
On the march: Covid-19

The new rule was announced on Tuesday morning, as NSW continued to battle the new Delta variant of Covid, with the first deaths this year recorded, and numbers of infected hitting treble figures all week,

Some 199,000 people live in Fairfield, with another 230,000 in neighbouring Liverpool, and 380,000 in Canterbury Bankstown, both of which are also areas of concern for the health authorities.

Testing can take place near the workplace, it does not have to be in Fairfield, providing the worker has no symptoms.

There are plenty of print staff who live in the Fairfield LGA, and in the neighbouring LGAs. Under the current lockdown across metro Sydney, print businesses are staying open, providing they adhere to the five main criteria for doing so.

The outbreak is having a major impact on businesses, with high rates of absenteeism as staff get tested, and wait at home for the results of those tests, and stay away from work if they have a cough or sniffle.

Aleks Lajovic, managing director of Impact International, which is in the Fairfield LGA said, “The government, which up to now has done a pretty good job, has got this wrong. How can staff who don’t live in the infected area come to work in that iunfected area and go home without testing? They could be taking the virus to their home area.”

Lajovic is also frustrated by the government’s lack of clarity on what constitutes essential work, he said, “Cafes are closed, but I drove past a car wash that was open today, how can that be essential work?”

All other states and cities are now out of lockdown, though Victoria has just seen its first cases, and Queensland has a handful, but says they are contained. NSW on the other hand is battling continuing outbreaks.

Printers in Sydney have been allowed to continue operating, under five main caveats, with print classed as an essential service, whether that print is directly related to Covid or not. The same goes for packaging businesses.

Those caveats include allowing staff who can work from home to do just that, so admin and sales staff should where possible not be coming into the workplace.

It also means staff at work need to wear masks at all times. Social distancing needs to be maintained, which includes the 1.5m rule, and maximum one person for every four sqm inside.

A Covid-safe plan needs to be implemented, communicated and understood by staff, and details of any visitors need to be registered.

Visiting clients in their workplace is a grey area, but the PVCA urges caution in all respects. Sign and display installations can go ahead outdoors and indoors, except indoors where the public are allowed, for instance in supermarkets during opening hours, however, installing Covid signage is allowed at any time there.

Printers in Perth were closed down by police last week, being told they only stay open to print Covid-related material. However, Print21 understands that printers in Sydney and the eastern states will not be visited by the cops.

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