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New retail rules announced for high-risk NSW areas

New rules take effect from midnight Sunday in NSW covering the types of retailer allowed to let customers shop in-store in areas of high risk for coronavirus transmission.

The worst-affected retail chain is likely to be Bunnings.

In response to ballooning infections of the highly contagious Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus, the state has extended its lockdown until the end of September and introduced a raft of new measures to restrict person-to-person contact in the hope of slowing the spread of the disease.

The new rules cover “LGAs of concern” which are determined as the worst hotspots for Covid presence, currently including much of Western Sydney. 

From Monday, garden centres, plant nurseries, and shops selling hardware and building supplies, landscaping materials, office supplies and pet supplies in LGAs of concern will be off limits to shoppers. However, these businesses may continue to offer click-and-collect services and tradespeople will be allowed in stores “where relevant” according to a notice issued by Premier Gladys Berejiklian. 

It can reasonably be assumed that if more areas are added to the LGAs of concern list, the same rules shall then apply.  

The SDA said it had been told by Bunnings that no workers would be stood down as the retailer moves to a click-and-collect model, and it supports the move to protect workers.

In addition to the retail trading rules, a curfew has been imposed in these areas from 9pm to 5am, with only authorised workers, emergencies or travel for medical care exempted.

From August 28, anyone entering an LGA of concern to work must carry a work permit issued by Service NSW. At the same time, authorised workers from these LGAs must carry a permit from Service NSW declaring they are authorised to work and cannot work from home. 

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