Advice to Staff: Border closure

From midnight tonight the Victoria/New South Wales border will be closed.

The border isn’t, of course, literally closed, but travel from Victoria to NSW is restricted.

This is important – it is the travel from Victoria to NSW which is being targeted.

But it is not just any travel in that direction – the restrictions are specifically focusing on people who are travelling from COVID-19 hotspots.

The “hotspots” are currently 35 municipalities in and around Melbourne.

What does that mean for Vivid employees and the people we support?

The NSW Government has advised that a “declaration permit” will be available for border residents to obtain and which will facilitate travel into NSW.

The permit will be applied for online, presumably through Service NSW.

The permit is not yet available, so we don’t yet know the application process, eligibility rules nor how long it will take for an application to be approved.

So, what to do in the meantime, if you are a Vivid employee and need to travel into NSW?

If you are a NSW resident, you are permitted to enter NSW – so make sure that you have proof of residence (such as a driver’s licence) on you. The same would apply for any client you are supporting.

If you are a NSW resident and have been in a hotspot within the last 14 days you will need to self-isolate for 14 days (from the date you were last in a hotspot location)

If you are not a NSW resident you cannot enter NSW unless you are entering to do one of a limited number of activities – one of which is “to provide an essential service”.

“Essential service” is defined to include health services – which will, arguably, cover many of the services Vivid provides.

Vivid will be providing staff who are, due to their employment duties, border crossers a letter which will hopefully be sufficient to secure their passage across the border.

We can’t make any guarantee that this will, however, be effective. The most effective documentation will inevitably be the declaration permit when it becomes available.

The very best advice at this time is undoubtedly to reduce, and ideally, eliminate, the need to travel over the border.

Vivid Living and Work Crew will be reviewing, on a case by case basis, NSW supports and contracts to determine which need to continue and, if they do, how.

NSW Government advice is that the next three days will be particularly challenging at border crossings.

The Government has also advised that it is working to ensure that the online permit application is available from this afternoon (Tuesday 7 July 2020).

Scott Alexander
0417 532 969
[email protected]