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

Latest update, Friday 17 September 2021. 

The situation and advice is changing frequently. Please monitor the NSW Government website for the most up to date advice. 

Please subscribe to receive regular updates about current rules and restrictions for freight and logistics workers. 

If you have any questions please contact freight@transport.nsw.gov.au or see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

    COVID-19 tests for road and rail freight

    We are continuing to support freight workers subject to mandatory testing requirements and have opened an additional freight friendly testing sites at: 

    • Dubbo, from 7am Monday 13 September Blackbutt rest Area, northbound, Newell Highway 

    Assisted by pathology staff on site between 6am-9pm, 7 days a week with telehealth after hours. 

    Due to increased movement in and out of the rest area the current 80km/h speed zone on the Newell Highway will be extended past the rest area to improve safety. 

    We are planning to open a further testing site in Raglan at Raglan BP Service centre, 39 Sydney Road (Great Western Highway) in the coming weeks. 

    Please subscribe for updates to ensure you are informed about new sites becoming available and the services at those sites.  

    The freight worker, asymptomatic testing services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

    The map below shows where the freight friendly testing sites are located and what services are available at each of the sites. 

    Map of freight friendly testing sites

    Process for testing at our freight friendly sites

    Our testing sites are for asymptomatic freight workers only. On arriving at the testing site, freight workers will be required to identify themselves by providing:

    •  a heavy vehicle license or
    • rail worker safety card.

    A sample will be taken and results will be sent to the driver’s mobile number.

    Telehealth services are in place at some sites when they are not staffed. Teleheath involves off-site medical staff supporting freight workers to carry out self-testing. Freight workers will need to contact medical staff via video on their own mobile device, and will be supported and supervised whilst carrying out the self-testing process.

    In NSW you do not need to self-isolate after taking a COVID-19 test if you do not have symptoms and are taking the test to comply with mandatory testing requirements.

    Any worker who is feeling unwell or displaying cold or flu like symptoms 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.

    Australian Border Force advice supports vessels and aircrafts arriving in Australian ports, subject to them meeting the necessary 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.

    For further information on the requirements for air travel, including maritime crew members traveling by air to NSW, see the Public Health Orders and restrictions.

    Further information is provided in the Maritime freight Public Health Orders Factsheet (PDF, 425.28 KB).

    To support the continued safe and efficient operation of international shipping, exemptions to the daily airport arrivals limit for Sydney airport can be requested for maritime crew. Industry should contact airlines as early as possible so they can request this via the Commonwealth Government at internationalaviation@infrastructure.gov.au.

    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 Business.gov.au websites.

    FAQs

    Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for further information. 

    What are the COVID testing requirements?

    Greater Sydney

    If you live in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong local government areas and you work more than 50km outside this area you are required to have a COVID test on a rolling seven day basis. You do not need to self-isolate until you receive the result and can return to work.

    The rest of NSW

    Regular asymptomatic testing is one of the key controls that helps keep freight workers and the community safe and helps to reduce the risk of spread of the virus. While not mandatory for residents outside Greater Sydney, in line with the National Freight Protocol we strongly encourage regular testing, every 7 days as part of your COVID Safety Plans. Asymptomatic testing is available at the 10 Transport for NSW managed sites and two council managed freight-friendly testing facilities as well as at community testing facilities in regional and metropolitan NSW.

    Interstate freight workers

    Freight workers entering NSW from other states and territories are strongly encouraged to undertake seven day rolling COVID-19 testing as part of their COVID Safety Plans and in line with the National Freight Movement Protocol

    What evidence do I need to show that I’ve had a COVID-19 test?

    In NSW you must have proof of your COVID-19 test such as a SMS text message on your phone or an email addressed to you.  Workers should enquire with their testing facility for the method of proof they will be provided and should identify themselves as an authorised worker. 

    Freight workers should understand the evidence required in other states as this could be different to NSW.

    In NSW, do I need to self-isolate until I receive the COVID-19 test results?

    In NSW you do not need to self-isolate after taking a COVID-19 test if you do not have symptoms and are taking the test to comply with mandatory testing requirements.

    If you have been to a ‘transmission venue of concern’ or a ‘case location’ you must follow the specific health advice around testing.

    Do I need to comply with the mandatory testing requirements if I am transiting through or staying temporarily in Greater Sydney?

    The rolling seven day tests are only required if a person is a resident-of or has stayed in temporary accommodation (including a vehicle) in the Greater Sydney area including Blue Mountains and Wollongong local government areas and is travelling 50km outside of those areas for work.  The requirement for testing does not apply to people travelling into and out of these areas or transitioning through these areas that are not a resident and have not stayed in temporary accommodation including a vehicle.

    What evidence do my workers need to carry to show they are essential freight workers?

    A Heavy Vehicle Drivers Licence, Rail Operators Licence, or it’s recommended workers carry identification such as an employee card with a company name on it, or a letter from their employer with a company name on it. 

    Is a business able to request mandatory regular testing for employees coming to site and also are we able to request mandatory temperature checks for employees before entering? 

    As part of the business’s COVID Safe Plan you can consider implementing safety measures such as mandatory COVID-19 testing or temperature testing prior to entry. More details can be found on the NSW Health website.

    In line with the National Freight Code, asymptomatic testing for freight workers on a rolling seven day basis is highly recommended. 

    If your employees live or stay in the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area, mandatory surveillance testing every three days is a legal requirement under the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021. 

    Can freight workers living in areas of concern leave those areas for work?

    If you live in an area of concern, you can only leave the local government area you live in to go to work if:

    Authorised workers from local government areas (LGAs) of concern have until the end of 19 September 2021 to get vaccinated to allow them to continue to work outside of the LGA they live in, provided they have booked their COVID-19 vaccination by the end of Wednesday 8 September 2021.

    Authorised workers from the LGAs of concern must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Sunday 19 September to continue to work outside the LGA they live in from 20 September.

    Authorised workers who are not yet vaccinated will have until the end of Wednesday 8 September 2021 to book their vaccination. From 9 September, authorised workers will be required to carry evidence of their booking if they wish to leave their LGA for work.

    If an authorised worker is not vaccinated or does not have a medical contraindication form, they will not be able to work outside their LGA after 19 September 2021. Workers from the LGAs of concern are offered priority bookings for vaccination.

    Can freight workers deliver goods into areas of concern? 

    Yes, delivery of essential goods is able to continue.  Deliveries must continue to allow residents in those areas to receive essential goods.  Freight workers entering these local government areas should remain vigilant and make every effort to limit their exposure.  Always check in and out, wherever you can, wear a face mask when required, get tested on a rolling seven day basis or more often if required. If you have even the mildest of symptoms, get tested and self-isolate until you have a result and get a COVID-19 vaccination when it is available to you. 

    What are the rules on car pooling?

    To help stop the spread of COVID-19, you must not carpool with people you do not live with in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. 

    If you use a vehicle for work, you are allowed to carpool where it is required for your work.

    Regional and rural NSW

    Carpooling is allowed in other parts of regional and rural NSW. 

    What do I do if my business is linked with a COVID-19 case?

    If a business is linked to a COVID-19 case, there are two ways it might be informed of a COVID-19 link:

    • being notified by public health authorities
    • an employee or other contractor notifying that they have been diagnosed.

    For more information, including what to do once you have been notified, please visit Guidance for businesses with linked COVID-19 cases.

    Is there a freight worker entry declaration for arriving into NSW? 

    For current border requirements for travelling into NSW from other states, please visit Travel to and from NSW

    What are the rules for travelling to other states and territories from NSW? 

    For the latest information on testing and other entry requirements you are advised to visit the website for the state or territory you will be travelling to, provided in the links below. We advise you keep up to date as requirements could change at short notice.

    What are the rules for arriving into NSW from interstate?

    Rules and restrictions apply if you have been in an affected area, area of concern or a place of high concern, and are entering or have entered NSW.

    If you are planning to enter NSW or you have already arrived, follow the instructions for the relevant states or territories you have been to in the previous 14 days.

    Rules apply to people who

    • are entering NSW from an affected area
    • have been to a place of concern or place of high concern during the time period specified in the COVID-19 concerns notice.

    More information on the current restrictions for people arriving from interstate is available on the NSW Government website.

    To complete a NSW entry declaration please visit the Service NSW website, and complete the relevant declaration(s) for the past 14 days.

    More information can be found on the NSW Government website. For testing sites near you visit the NSW Health website.

    What has been Transport's response to mandatory testing requirements for freight workers? 

    We are responding to the rapid changes and testing requirements for the freight industry and have made changes to how testing is supported across all our testing sites.

    We have prioritised assisted testing 24 hours a day 7 days a week at sites with high test numbers.

    We are also continuing to work towards establishing consistency across the sites in accordance with necessary traffic, safety, and COVID-safe plans, and have made several changes to improve the operation and efficiency of the sites to get freight workers back on the road as soon as possible. These changes include streamlining onsite operations, and the allocation of site managers and site surveillance.

    We are also hearing and responding to industry’s need for more testing sites and will continue to consider potential sites across the state.

    If you have a suggestion, please email freight@transport.nsw.gov.au and your suggestion will be passed onto our COVID-19 response team for consideration.

    What permit do I need to travel out of Greater Sydney or in and out of areas of concern? 

    You will need to register your travel if you are:

    The Service NSW Travel Registration form can be accessed here

    The form has been amended to support freight workers.  A new drop down selection has been added for

    • Worker with unknown work addresses or
    • Authorised worker with unknown work addresses if you are from an area of concern.

    These selections do not require you to add destination addresses. 

    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