COVID Update Around The Country
COVID news abounds today, and there have been several concurrent press announcements. ACWA provides the following summary of important information.
COVID Safe Plans and QR Code Contact Tracing
ACWA has become aware of an instance in Victoria of Worksafe visiting a car wash site to undertake inspections to ensure COVID Safe Plans and Contact QR Code Tracing practices. We are unaware that this is part of an orchestrated campaign or a random check; however it serves as an alert for all Members.
ACWA has advised members on several occasions that it highly recommends implementing COVID Safe Plans and QR Code Contract Tracing at all car wash sites. Please be sure you comply with your state regulations, as these systems are compulsory in most states.
South Australia will move from Level 4 Restrictions and enter a statewide lockdown under Level 5 restrictions from 6.00 pm tonight, Tuesday 20 July 2021. The restrictions are currently in place for one week.
Premier Steven Marshall announced in today’s press conference that under the new rules, there would only be five reasons to leave home. Those reasons are:
- Care and compassion (for example, caring for a loved one)
- Essential work
- The purchase of essential goods such as groceries
- Medical reasons, including vaccinations
- Exercise (only people in the same household)
As is usual, the devil will be in the detail. At this time, new Public Activities Directions are pending, and the SA Government website has not been updated. The facts, when posted, can be found here https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/response.
New South Wales
There has been no change to business conditions since our last communication; however, as the regulations are quite recent, we will repeat some of the information already provided.
As previously outlined, new restrictions for Businesses in Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, came into effect from 11.59 pm 17 July 2021. They will last until 11.59 pm on Friday, 30 July.
The COVID rules for NSW can be found here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules
ACWA respects that there will be some members who review the regulations and decide to close their sites. Others will elect to remain open.
At this time, ACWA does not believe it is in the industry’s best interest to seek formal clarification from the NSW Government. Our experience in dealing with other state governments, notably Victoria, suggests that formalising enquiries may remove options for car wash businesses intending to continue operations under somewhat confusing messaging.
At this time, ACWA does not believe it is in the industry’s best interest to seek formal clarification from the NSW Government. Our experience in dealing with other state governments, notably Victoria, suggests that formalising enquiries may remove options for car wash businesses intending to operate in any “grey area” created by confusing regulations.
Operators should note the information provided in this email should not be construed as permission to operate; however, ACWA points the following out to members.
- ACWA has been unable to locate any regulation that explicitly calls on car washing to close.
- The Authorised Worker List published on the NSW COVID website here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/authorised-workers#transport-postal-and-warehousing allows workers to attend a worksite that provide “vehicle repairs and critical maintenance, including disinfection” services.
- Petrol stations may remain open; therefore, car wash services at petrol stations, in particular, appear exempt from closure.
Victoria’s current lockdown has been extended for an additional seven days, and conditions have not changed. Notably, the lockdown is now set to expire at 11.59 pm on Tuesday, 27 July 2021.
Other States and Territories