New stay-at-home orders for Regional and Rural NSW
Over the weekend the NSW Government made the tough but necessary decision to introduce stay-at-home orders to all of regional NSW, with the restrictions in place until 12.01am Sunday 22 August 2021.
Given the evolving situation in both NSW and the ACT, this is the best decision for our community. If we all do the right thing, this lockdown in our region will be short, sharp and effective in protecting our communities from this virus.
The stay-at-home orders mean that everyone must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. A reasonable excuse to leave home includes to obtain food or other goods and services, for work if you cannot reasonably work from home, for education if it is not possible to do it from home, for exercise and for medical care or caring reasons.
You may still can have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers' responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.
Getting a COVID-19 test or vaccination is a reasonable excuse to leave home.
The stay-at-home rules are all about limiting our movement so we can get on top of this virus and get back to a level of normal as quickly as possible.
I’ve seen a lot of talk about the rule around obtaining food or other goods and services locally (within your own LGA, or, if in another LGA, within 5 kilometres of your home). As a regional MP I know many of you can’t just pop down the road to get your groceries, which is why there are no distance restrictions in place for movement in your LGA. If you need to leave your LGA for shopping because there is no other option, you are free to do so. In our region the Local Government Areas are Queanbeyan-Palerang and Snowy Monaro.
These restrictions have also seen all of our schools move to learning from home for the duration of this lockdown. I ask parents and carers to keep your children at home if you can. Schools will remain open for students who need it and no child will be turned away.
When the ACT announced its lockdown last week, it was disappointing to see the scenes of people panic buying including in our region. I cannot stress this enough, Please do not panic buy. Essential retail will remain open in our community throughout this lockdown and shopping for essential goods like groceries is a reasonable excuse to leave your home over the next seven days. There is absolutely no need to panic buy.
I also want to reiterate how important it is to wear a mask during this time. Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when working outdoors, by all school staff, by all people in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food. By wearing a mask you are not only helping protect yourself and your loved ones, but also our community.
This new order also means that every employer across NSW must require their employees to work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable. It is a reasonable excuse to leave your home for work – but only if it is not practicable to work from home.
If you have even the mildest of symptoms, please get tested. Additional COVID testing clinics have been set up across the Monaro and a number of existing clinics have extended their hours.
For a full list of testing clinics and their opening hours in the region, please visit: https://www.snswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/our-services/infectious-disease/covid-19?viewmode=0&fbclid=IwAR0LnayBRYZfHh6hCDud6S8wr_pLBd8qUsFmKjGyIwgMr73P0RS6bs3Sqv4
The next several days are critical for our region. We all need to do our bit and follow these restrictions to keep each other safe and to get back to level of normal.
If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate in contacting my office on (02) 6299 4899 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stay safe,
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