NSW printers can operate but masks must be worn with up-to-date COVID Safety Plans in place

The highly-transmissable Delta strain of COVID-19 has plunged Greater Sydney and surrounding areas into a two-week lockdown, with Darwin also in a lockdown, South East Queensland enforcing mask wearing when outdoors and South Australia facing one week of social restrictions due to the virus.

The Western Australia government has also just announced a four-day lockdown for the Perth and Peel regions.

The lockdowns and restrictions will again slug print manufacturers, but as with previous lockdowns the sector is deemed essential and can operate providing certain conditions are met.

One key change for NSW-effected businesses operating in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast is that all staff wear masks indoors of non-residential premises. This ruling is contained in a new public health order issued in NSW on Saturday June 26.

It is also required that businesses maintain an up-to-date COVID Safety Plan and two square metre physical distancing rule.

The Real Media Collective GM IR, Policy and Governance, Charles Watson, said the enforcement of mask wearing indoors of non-residential premises is a new development for lockdown requirements for effected NSW business owners.

The Real Media Collective GM IR, Policy and Governance, Charles Watson

“Printers can stay open for on site work but staff that can work from home are advised to do so,” Watson told Sprinter.

“But now it is a case that in all indoor, non-residential settings ie, work places, face masks are worn unless there is a reasonable basis not to.”

The public health orders say that the ruling of mask wearing indoors of non-residential premises is not required for those under age of 12 or when a person has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability which makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable. This includes a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.

The above NSW regions are now locked down until at least 11.59pm (AEST) Friday 9 July with the only reason to leave home being shopping for essential goods and services; medical care (including getting the COVID vaccine); exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer; and essential, work or education where you cannot work or study from home.

In light of the current Delta variant outbreak, restrictions in South East Queensland were tightened from 1am Tuesday June 29. This includes a one person per four square metre rule and mask wearing whenever you leave the house. These restrictions will be reviewed on Tuesday July 13.

Darwin is in lockdown until this Friday after the Delta strain spread into the Northern Territory via a FIFO mining worker.

Print and Visual Communication Association President, Walter Kuhn, said whilst all printers can operate, the situation is fluid with guidelines changing on a daily basis depending on government rulings.

“The advice from the NSW Government has again changed yesterday and are subject to further change. While there is no clear definition of ‘essential reason’ there will clearly be some services provided by some PVCA members which fall into that category,” he said.

“Where staff are not required onsite, they should stay at home regardless of their home address.”

Kuhn also pointed to the other key issue that impacts printers when lockdowns like these are enforced – the knock on effect of what happens when print customers are shutdown.

“It’s irrelevant if print can operate if it doesn’t have any customers,” he said.

“You got to have customers to operate and if your customers are all in lockdown, not producing anything or wanting anything, then it’s irrelevant if you can produce or not because you won’t have any work to produce. It’s a supply and demand scenario.”

This story is evolving and the Sprinter team will do our best to keep you updated.

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