Transport for NSW response to COVID-19 for the freight industry

Latest update, 9:30am, Wednesday 25 November 2020

The border between NSW and Victoria reopened from 12.01am on 23 November 2020. 

After this time freight or critical services workers are no longer required to hold a valid Border Entry Permit.

Road and Rail Freight

As a result of recent COVID case notifications in South Australia, the NSW Minister for Health has issued a new public health order, the Public Health (COVID-19 – South Australia) Order 2020 which commenced at 12.01am 19 November 2020.

Importantly, freight or critical services workers are not exempt from this Order. 

The order sets out requirements for ‘affected persons’ which are defined as persons aged 16 or over who have been in South Australia within the previous 14 days.

Entry requirements

Affected persons who enter NSW must complete an Interstate Traveller Self-Declaration form which is a new declaration issued by the Chief Health Officer.

The form must be completed within the 24 hours before they enter NSW or on entering NSW.

A person will not be permitted to enter NSW if they are not a NSW resident and if in the last 14 days they have been to a COVID-19 Area of Concern. The current COVID-19 Areas of Concern are discrete locations such as schools and a hospital emergency department. 

If a person is a NSW resident and has been to a COVID-19 Area of Concern, they are considered a close contact of a person with COVID-19 and must self-isolate in accordance with the NSW Self-Isolation Public Health Order.

A person will be permitted to enter NSW if they are travelling through NSW via the most direct route to a place outside NSW.

Drivers transiting through NSW are permitted to rest en route if this is necessary to safely complete their journey, but should avoid contact with other people if they have been directed to self-isolate. However, any freight deliveries they make within NSW en route immediately voids this as a transit arrangement and they would therefore need to comply with the above rules.

How to fill out the Interstate Traveller Self-Declaration Form

The Interstate Traveller Self-Declaration form requires the following information:

  • Name;
  • Email address and phone number;
  • Every address the person stayed at in the past 14 days in SA;
  • Address the person will be staying at in NSW -  if a driver is staying in a rest area they will need to select the manual entry option and enter the rest area name and suburb;
  • Whether or not the person has in the last 14 days been to a COVID-19area of concern;
  • Whether or not the person’s travel is restricted under a direction by SA and the details;
  • Number of dependent children under the age of 16 travelling with the person;
  • Date of arrival in NSW;
  • Date of departure (if they are not a NSW resident).

Anyone filling out the declaration form should provide their permanent residential address in the residential address section (ie, the home address they will return to once they have completed their freight activities).

Important information

  • An affected person must carry evidence of their interstate traveller self-declaration while in NSW.
  • An affected person must produce evidence to an enforcement officer if requested.
  • An affected person must provide information to NSW contact tracers if requested to do so.

NSW freight COVID-19 testing locations

To help you and your drivers take a free COVID-19 test every seven days, we have established pop-up testing locations in NSW.

The following locations are open 24 hours per day 7 days a week:

  • Narrandera Roadhouse, Newell Highway.  
  • Tarcutta truck change over yard, Sydney Street, off Hume Highway. 
  • Taree Service Centre, Pacific Highway. Narrabarba rest area, Princes Highway. 
  • Forbes Caltex Service Centre, Newell Highway.  

Process for testing

On arriving at the testing site, drivers will be required to identify themselves by providing name, driver licence number and contact details, including mobile number for test result notification.  A sample will be taken and results will be provided back to drivers to their mobile number. 

Each site will be providing a Telehealth service when pop-up sites are not staffed. Teleheath involves off-site medical staff supporting freight workers to carry out tests. Freight workers will contact medical staff via video using your own device and will be supervised and supported while they take a test themselves.

At Narrandera and Tarcutta sites between 9am to 4pm each day, staff will be on-site to conduct tests. Between 4pm to 9am a telehealth service will be available. Teleheath involves off-site medical staff supporting freight workers to carry out tests. Freight workers will contact medical staff via your own device and will be supervised and supported while they take a test themselves. 

Testing results are expected to take up to 48 hours.  

We are reminding all operators to be conscious of the significantly increased health risk in Victoria, to please take extra care and ensure that you are vigilant in practising physical distancing, minimising contact and maintaining good hygiene practices to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.  

Operators are reminded that any worker who is feeling unwell or displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend work, should be tested immediately and must self-isolate while waiting for results.

While all efforts are being made to ensure freight moves as efficiently as possible, operators are encouraged to plan ahead as some delays may be experienced and to factor this into fatigue management plans.

Go to the Live Traffic website for the latest traffic information.

Air and sea freight

NSW ports and airports remain open for freight imports and exports and Australian Border Force advice supports vessels and aircraft arriving in Australian ports, subject to meeting specified criteria.

The Port Authority of New South Wales will continue to follow the advice set by the Australian  and state governments in relation to the entry of commercial vessels to the ports of NSW.

Please note that the Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 3) 2020which commenced on 21 September 2020 provides additional requirements for vessels entering NSW ports. The order does not apply to vessels if their voyage commenced in Australia and they haven’t been outside Australia.

Under the updated order, a crew member must not disembark a vessel unless it is to carry out an essential task, in an emergency, or authorised to do so by police. A person who is authorised to disembark must do one of the following:

go directly to a quarantine facility, hospital or other medical facility for 14 days,

go directly to an airport or another vessel immediately to leave NSW.

Suitable personal protective equipment is required to be worn while undertaking an essential activity or departing from NSW. A person travelling to the airport, a vessel or other facility is required to follow the directions of police and use appropriate transport such as a private vehicle.  They cannot use any form of public transport, taxis or rideshare vehicles.

Further information is provided in the Maritime freight Public Health Orders factsheet (PDF, 622.36 KB)

For further information on the requirements for air travel, including maritime crew members travelling by air to NSW, please refer to the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 3) 2020.

The NSW Government has announced a range of export support measures for NSW businesses which can be found at NSW Treasury. Information on the International Freight Assistance Mechanism for air freight agricultural and fisheries exports can be found on the Austrade and the websites.

Public Health Orders

To deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 and its possible consequences, the Minister for Health and Medical Research has made a number of Orders, under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, restricts the movement of people from Victoria to NSW.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order sets out the restrictions on individuals and businesses in relation to certain activities. A gathering for the purposes of or relating to transportation is an essential gathering and therefore the restrictions on gatherings in the Order do not apply.

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Interstate border travel restrictions

Border restrictions have changed in Queensland, with all freight operators, including those in heavy vehicles, now required to hold and display a Queensland border pass on the passenger side visor, lower-left windscreen or passenger-side dashboard. Please note that these permits last seven days and you will need to make a new application after this time.

There are additional restrictions on any person who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days. For information regarding operators performing an essential activity, including transport, freight and logistics, visit the link below.

Border restrictions also remain in place for South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, with exemptions for freight.

NSW road freight links

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Coronavirus page
Information on the NHVR’s response to Coronavirus including information on state border restrictions and required entry border forms

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) new online map
Online map of service centres, truck stops and roadhouses that remain open for heavy vehicle drivers

NSW road network maps and approved roads
Interactive maps are available for road freight transport vehicles, special purpose vehicles and load carrying vehicles

NSW rest area map
The online rest areas map provides information for heavy vehicle rest area locations for major roads across NSW