COVID-19 News

Get the latest news on COVID-19 and what it means for you.

Get the latest news on COVID-19 and what it means for you.

  • Dr Casolin answers your questions about COVID-19

    We recently held an interactive livestream with our Chief Health Officer Dr Casolin, to answer your COVID-19 health related questions. Missed the livestream? You can watch the replay.

    We’re almost two years into the pandemic and there’s been a lot of new information to wrap our heads around. So we asked Dr Casolin, to lend his expertise and answer your questions about COVID-19, vaccinations and other safety measures in place.

    Top questions answered

    Q: Are there alternatives to vaccination? For instance, can surveillance testing be used as an alternative to vaccination?

    A: It depends what you’re aiming to achieve. If you’re aiming to reduce your own personal risk of transmitting an unknown infection to someone else then yes you could use rapid antigen testing. If you test yourself at home and are negative, then you can have a high degree of confidence that you’re not going to infect someone else. However, there are two important additional considerations. One is your risk of catching COVID from someone else. The second is your risk of suffering a severe episode should you contract COVID. Undertaking surveillance testing won’t alter these risks.

    Q: How long does the COVID vaccination last and will we need to get a booster shot at certain intervals?

    A: Six months is the figure after which you need to have a third dose, which isn’t unusual as there are other vaccines that require three doses such as Hepatitis B. We don’t know yet how long immunity might last after the third dose.

    Q: When do you think children under 12 will be able to be vaccinated and are they at greater risk until then?

    A: Pfizer have given data to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on use of vaccines in 5 – 12 years olds so it may not be too long before we can start vaccinating that age group. Children are less likely than adults to have a severe episode from COVID but that’s not to say it could never happen, particularly in a vulnerable child.

    Q: When will Novavax be available in Australia?

    A: Novavax submitted their application to the TGA in the last week. The data regarding the efficacy of Novavax seems to be as good as the other vaccines we are using now so it will depend on the timing it takes to be approved and rolled out.

    Q: On a windy day is there potential for the virus to travel further and cause infection to people who are more than 1.5 meters away from someone who is infected?

    A: If it’s windy you might think that the virus can travel further but it also gets dispersed, which is why it’s safer to be outside.

    Q: Do we mix and match our boosters or do we have the same vaccine?

    A: For the time being Pfizer is the main vaccine being used for 3rd doses, so people who were initially vaccinated with AstraZeneca won’t receive the same vaccine.

    More information

    If you’d like hear all of the questions and answers, you can watch the full replay of the livestream.

    You can also visit StayInformed for the latest COVID-19 updates.

  • Changes to the NSW Government roadmap

    In response to the faster-than-expected rate of vaccination, the NSW Government will further ease rules for those who are fully vaccinated by bringing forward many of the roadmap changes scheduled for 1 December to Monday, 8 November.

    From 8 November there will be no limit on visitors to a home, no rules for outdoor gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people, and indoor swimming pools will re-open for all purposes.

    Businesses will be able to welcome in more fully vaccinated customers with all premises to move to 1 person per 2 sqm rule, and nightclubs will be able to re-open dancefloors.

    Caps will be removed for settings other than gym and dance classes (where the 20 person cap for classes will remain) and replaced by density limits or 100 per cent fixed seated capacity for major recreation outdoor facilities (including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos) and entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres).

    These freedoms will only be available for people who are fully vaccinated, including those who have medical exemptions and children under the age of 16. COVID Safe check-ins and proof of vaccination will still be required.

    Those who are not fully vaccinated must still abide by pre-roadmap restrictions until the State reaches the 95 per cent double vaccination target, or 15 December, whichever happens first.

    The current settings for masks, which apply to everyone, will remain in place until the State reaches the 95 per cent double vaccination target, or 15 December, whichever happens first.

    Read more on the NSW Government website.

  • End of year events

    As the year draws to a close and NSW is firmly on the road to recovery with eased restrictions, it’s a time when many of us want to come together and celebrate. With this in mind, it’s important to take the time to consider how to keep ourselves and each other safe – as well as having fun!

    We know a lot of you want to start planning end of year events and have questions about how and where they can be held. While a number of eased restrictions mean we can get together in some ways, we are still working through what the current restrictions and those post-December 1 will mean for events in our Transport offices and workplaces. Please read more in the FAQs to help guide you when planning events.

  • Mask wearing in offices - update for 80%

    Under the updated NSW Government roadmap the requirement to wear a mask in office buildings, for those who are fully vaccinated, has been removed at the 80 per cent double vaccination milestone. This means that from Monday 18 October the rules around wearing masks in our offices have changed.

    While our advice remains to continue to work from home if you can, if you do need to attend one of our offices and are fully vaccinated, mask wearing will no longer be mandatory, however we do encourage you to continue to wear a mask, especially in situations where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.

    If you are a fully vaccinated person attending a Transport office and choose to no longer wear a mask you will need to show your manager proof of your vaccination status, this can be done by showing your vaccination certificate or an immunisation statement.

    Mask wearing remains mandatory in certain instances:

    • On all public transport services and waiting areas.
    • In offices if you need to attend and are not fully vaccinated eg your job cannot be done from home.
    • At critical Transport sites including signal boxes and at the Rail Operations Centre there are specific mask wearing instructions to be followed. If you work in one of these sites you will be made aware of the requirements.
  • NSW Health updates to self-isolation rules

    NSW Health have updated their rules around self-isolation dependant on your vaccination status;

    • If you have COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 14 days – even if you’re vaccinated.
    • Close contacts who are vaccinated must self-isolate for 7 days (and limit their movements for the next 7 days). Close contacts who are not vaccinated must isolate for 14 days.
    • Casual contacts need to get tested and self-isolate until you get a negative test result - even if you are vaccinated.
    • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you get a negative result - even if you‘re vaccinated.

    For more information on the self-isolation rules head to the self-isolation page on the NSW Government website.

  • Approval process for employees working from home to attend offices

    Note: This update does not apply to frontline employees and employees who are unable to work from home.

    Transport Staff who can perform their role at home should continue to do so while we prepare for return to offices and our hybrid ways of working. However, we recognise that people have been at home for some time and some people may be having trouble coping.

    If an employee requests to come into an office for wellbeing reasons an assessment needs to be made regarding the best way to support the employee.

    If the manager determines the staff member should come in to the office then they must check vaccination status. Under the Public Health Order, staff who can work from home must be fully vaccinated to attend an office.

    The manager must seek endorsement from People and Change - Role 75 (Director Business Partnering for TfNSW, Sydney Trains & NSW TrainLink) or Role 60 (for Sydney Metro & STA).

    Once endorsed by the People and Change delegate the manager must sight the vaccination evidence and declare that they have done so via the manager declaration form.

    Once the declaration form has been completed the employee will receive a confirmation email. Once this confirmation email has been received, the employee is able to attend Transport offices as approved by their manager.

    If you have any questions please contact your HR representative.

    Who does this process apply to?

    This approval process applies to employees who can perform their roles from home. Any workers that cannot work from home (i.e. they must attend the office to use particular equipment/systems essential for their role) are not subject to this approval and evidence sighting process.

    Do I follow this process for organising team meetings?

    No. Face to face meetings should not be happening at this time and should continue to occur virtually.

    How is evidence of vaccination provided?

    The evidence needs to be sighted by the manager, for example over MS Teams video call. The evidence should not be stored by the manager.

    Does the above process apply to labour hire working from home?

    Yes.

  • Capacity uplift from Monday – Go Team Transport!

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    As NSW starts to reopen from Monday our teams across Transport have worked tirelessly to make sure we’re ready to go with increased services. From next week we’ll be running a dynamic Monday to Friday timetable with capacity back up to around 50 per cent across all modes. A big thank you to all of our people who’ve helped make this capacity uplift possible. Watch the message from Howard Collins here.


  • Regional travel just weeks away

    People in Greater Sydney are just weeks away from being able to enjoy holidays and day trips to the regions as COVID travel restrictions start to ease.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the State had this week passed a major milestone, passing the 70 per cent double vaccination target.

    “From Monday, we’ll see a number of restrictions ease across NSW and many businesses start to re-open. Travel will also be allowed between regional local government areas including for holidays for fully vaccinated people,” Mr Toole said.

    “However, it will still be a few more weeks before people from Greater Sydney can travel out to the regions for holidays or recreation.”

    Travel for holidays and recreation, between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW (and vice versa) will not be permitted from Monday, 11 October.

    Greater Sydney includes the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.

    Under the Reopening NSW roadmap, travel for holidays and recreation between Greater Sydney and the regions (and vice versa) will only be permitted for those who are fully vaccinated once the State reaches the 80 per cent mark.

    “We know people are busting to get out and explore the best of the bush – and we look forward to welcoming fully vaccinated travelers, but this is not something we’re going to rush. It’s important we continue to push up vaccination rates before that happens and ensure we keep regional communities safe,” Mr Toole said.

    Travel between Greater Sydney and the regions remains permissible for a range of reasons including for work, medical and caring reasons, and on compassionate grounds.

  • Vaccination requirements for School Crossing Supervisors

    Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2021, education and care workers will not be able to perform work at a school from Monday 8 November unless they have:

    (a) had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or

    (b) been issued with a medical contraindication certificate (which certifies that you cannot receive a COVID vaccine).

    School Crossing Supervisors and other staff who from time to time perform work at a school are subject to this Public Health Order. What this means is that you must comply with the vaccination requirement in order to be rostered to work from 8 November.

    Medical exemption

    If you cannot have a COVID-19 vaccine due to a specified medical contraindication, you will need a medical contraindication certificate issued by a medical practitioner in a form approved by the Chief Health Officer.

    Declaration of Vaccination status

    Over the coming days, you will receive information on how to complete a declaration of your vaccination status. This information is required to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order.

    Before 8 November, you may also be required to provide evidence of your vaccination status or medical contraindication certificate.

    Please continue to check your emails for important messages regarding this process.

    Evidence of vaccination or medical contraindication

    Under the Public Health Order, you may be requested to provide evidence of your vaccination or medical contraindication certificate to authorised personnel at Transport. It is important to carry this information with you.

    Getting vaccinated

    If you have not been vaccinated, you are to arrange a vaccination appointment as a matter of urgency. You can book a vaccination appointment here Vaccines Clinic Finder (healthdirect.gov.au). You can claim for a two-hour payment for each of the jab. Please contact your coordinator if you need any assistance.

    Not fully vaccinated by 8 November

    From 8 November you can only be rostered to work as a School Crossing Supervisor if you are fully vaccinated or have received a medical contraindication certificate from a doctor.

    If you will not have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine nor received a medical contraindication certificate before 8 November, you will be marked as absent and will have to apply for leave, until you are able to comply with the Public Health Order.

  • Changes announced to the reopening NSW roadmap

    NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced today that with the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone being reached yesterday, the NSW Government is easing a number of restrictions as part of the Reopening NSW roadmap, which will allow fully vaccinated adults to enjoy more freedoms from next Monday, October 11. It is expected that these updates will be made to Public Health Order in the coming days. We will advise you if anything changes to what has been announced today.

    As always, Transport will play a critical role in supporting these changes as students return to schools sooner and more people start accessing the network to reunite with family and friends as well as the return to work places over the coming months

    Please make sure your people know that if they can work from home they should continue to do so for now and that masks remain mandatory.

    Changes to 70 per cent roadmap

    • Up to 10 visitors (not counting children 12 and under) to a home (previously five)
    • The cap on outdoor gatherings rises to 30 people (previously 20)
    • Increased cap for weddings and funerals to 100 people (previously 50)
    • Indoor pools will also re-open for swimming lessons, squad training, lap swimming, and rehab activities.

    Changes to 80 per cent roadmap

    • Up to 20 visitors (excluding children 12 and under) to a home (previously 10)
    • Up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors (previously 20)
    • Up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events (previously 500)
    • Nightclubs will be permitted to reopen for seated drinking only (no dancing)
    • Masks will no longer be required in office buildings.

    All roadmap freedoms at 70 and 80 per cent will continue to be for fully vaccinated people only.

    Changes to back to school plan

    All school students will now return to on site learning with a range of COVID-safe measures in place by October 25, with the second and third stages of the return to school plan now combined. Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students will still return to face-to-face learning on October 18, with all other years now returning one week later on October 25.

Page last updated: 09 November 2021, 18:01