From Monday, 11 October 2021, the COVID-19 rules and restrictions in NSW have changed.

From this date, a number of businesses that were not deemed ‘critical’ under the previous rules are now allowed to re-open. A complete list of these businesses can be found on the NSW government website here.

It is mandatory for anyone accessing these businesses (staff or patrons) to be vaccinated or have a medical exemption. Staff at these businesses are required to take reasonable steps to ensure these rules are followed.

Critical retail premises, including banking and financial institutions, can continue to operate as they have and can continue to allow non-vaccinated customers access to their premises.

Given the requirements for all businesses, including critical retail premises, “to keep their premises safe and minimise the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace”, it is our strongest advice that any non-vaccinated Members make plans to become fully vaccinated by the 1 November 2021 deadline.

Our advice is grounded in not only the interests of public health and policy but, most importantly, ensuring, as we have tried to over the entire pandemic, that our Members can, wherever possible, continue to operate unhindered.

Increasingly it is likely that requirements for fully vaccinated staff will not only come from government mandates but also commercial entities such as clients, suppliers and other key industry stakeholders.

For any Members who are unable to be vaccinated, you will need to arrange an exemption on medical grounds and be able to produce a medical certificate or letter to that effect, as well as ensure your employer is notified. Here is the relevant advice on exemptions from the NSW Government.

As always, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide further advice on how the pandemic applies to our profession. I remain confident in the strength and resilience of our membership and, on a more personal note, will draw significant comfort from knowing our Members’ personal safety is protected.