Key takeaways

The NSW government has announced that from Monday 27 September 2021 the 50% capacity limit at construction sites across the state will be scrapped. All construction sites will also be subject to the one person per m2 rule from 27 September 2021.

The announcement is a stark contrast to the developments in Victoria, where the construction industry was today shut down for two weeks amid transmission concerns following consecutive days of protests by construction industry participants.

Construction workers living in or staying within a local government area of concern in NSW are still not permitted to enter or remain at a construction site unless they have any of the following:

  • Had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or
  • Had 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 21 days ago or
  • Had 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within the past 21 days and you have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours (3 days) or
  • Evidence of a medical exemption and you have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours.

The rules provide that if a construction work is required to have a COVID-19 test to enter or remain at a construction site, they must do so once every 72 hours. The NSW government has confirmed this can include rapid antigen testing in the manner approved by the Chief Health Officer. Medical exemptions are otherwise available for construction workers who are unable to have a COVID-19 vaccine.

Evidence of vaccination can be in the form of an immunisation history statement or COVID-19 digital certificate issued by the Australia Immunisation Register. Workers must carry evidence of vaccination, a COVID-19 test or medical exemption (whichever applies) at all times.

Further information is available via the NSW government website here.

Site requirements

  • Construction sites must implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • Safety Plans are mandatory for any site that is not an occupied premises in NSW.
  • The maximum daily workforce otherwise still applies, which is the maximum number of workers on site on any day from the start to the end of the project, and must be calculated from the current resourcing plan for the construction site.
  • Face masks must otherwise be worn where it is safe to do so.

Regional NSW requirements

  • The rules preventing workers from any current local government area of concern within Greater Sydney from working on construction sites in regional and rural NSW, including Shellharbour and the Central Coast, remains in place.
  • Other construction workers living within Greater Sydney and wishing to work in regional or rural NSW must otherwise follow the above testing rules and register for regional travel.

We’re here to help

We at Chamberlains appreciate the difficulties all stakeholders in the construction industry have been facing in recent times, as well as the confusion that comes with progressive amendments to public health orders affecting people from different areas across the state.

Should you or your business need assistance to navigate any legal issues which have arisen during these unprecedented times, please do not hesitate to contact our building and construction team.