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We recognise the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting providers both personally and professionally. Thank you for your continued efforts in supporting people in NSW. Services for vulnerable children, families and individuals are essential and should continue.

We’ll work with you during this challenging time. We realise that this may require flexible and different approaches so that you can keep staff and clients safe and continue to provide services.

The NSW Government website is the most up-to-date source of information for COVID-19.It includes information about what COVID-19 is, social distancing and self-isolation, and public health orders.

You can download the Service NSW mobile app to get the latest COVID-19 information from the NSW Government.

If you have any specific questions about delivering services during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact COVID19.Support@facs.nsw.gov.au

Changes to NSW Victorian border restrictions

The easing of certain restrictions for the NSW Victorian border came into effect from 12.01am Friday 4 September 2020.

The easing of restrictions means that workers performing essential services living within the border zone that need to cross the border for work can apply for a border zone permit. There is also a new process for requesting an exemption.

New border zone

A single border zone has been reinstated which extends to at least 50 kilometres on either side of the NSW Victoria border. Addresses within the single border zone can be searched on the border address checker. You may have heard in media reports about a 100 kilometre border zone but that is for essential agricultural workers only.

New border zone resident permit

The new permit allows a border zone resident to enter NSW to:

  • attend work or obtain educational services (where it is not reasonable for the person to work or obtain educational services from their state of residence)
  • obtain necessary goods or services
  • care or other compassionate reasons.

A border zone resident who is a NSW resident:

  • is authorised to enter Victoria only for the reason allowed in the permit
  • must not travel to any part of Victoria that is outside of the border zone or is a COVID-19 area of concern.

A border zone resident who is a Victorian resident:

  • is authorised to enter and remain in NSW only for the reason allowed in the permit
  • must not travel to any part of NSW that is outside of the border zone
  • must not enter NSW if the resident had travelled in Victoria in a restricted area (which is currently Greater Melbourne) or a COVID-19 area of concern in Victoria within the previous 14 days.

Applying for a border entry permit

Workers requiring a border entry permit need to apply via the Service NSW website.

New way to apply for a border entry exemption

NSW Health has advised of a change to the border entry exemptions process for the NSW Victoria border.

All future border entry exemption applications are to be submitted by the individual through the NSW Health online portal. This replaces the process of submitting a border entry exemption form to DCJ-SEOCLO@justice.nsw.gov.au.

The new process for requesting an exemption covers the following:

  • Any Victorian resident needing to enter NSW who does not fall into an existing category.
  • Any border region resident (Victorian side) who needs to travel further into NSW than the border region.
  • Any border region resident (NSW side) who needs to re-enter NSW after travelling further into Victoria than the border region.
  • Anyone who requires an exemption from mandatory hotel quarantine and/or re-entering via Sydney airport.

All other border exemptions remain in place.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

DCJ recognises the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on the safety of NGO staff and clients in the continuing provision of essential services to vulnerable community members.

We encourage your agency to continue to assess the risks associated with delivering services and make changes to mitigate these risks and meet the needs of your clients.

To keep staff and clients safe we have worked with Programs and peak bodies to:

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCJ was able to provide assistance for NGOs to continue the provision of essential services to vulnerable community members.

As a response, DCJ was able to access a limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for service providers to deliver essential face-to-face services. The PPE supplies included hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and eyewear; this was distributed to over 60 service providers in the homelessness and intensive therapeutic care (OOHC residential) program areas.

With supplies of PPE now more readily available through normal channels, the need for DCJ to prioritise PPE supplies to these service providers is no longer required.

Service providers are encouraged to access PPE supplies as required through local or online suppliers. In addition, you may wish to refer to the NSW Government register of PPE suppliers.  Note that information on the register has been sourced directly from suppliers and hasn’t been verified by NSW Procurement.

In the event of a future spike in reported COVID cases and PPE supplies were to be become limited, DCJ will review the need for PPE supplies for priority services to continue essential services.

If you have any further questions, please contact your contract manager.

Practice guidance for virtual home visits

Practice Guidance for Virtual Home Visits is an online learning module for NGO professionals conducting virtual home visits with children, young people and families who may be experiencing vulnerability.  Complete the Practice Guidance for Virtual Home Visits on the NGO Learning website.  This module takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.

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Continued support for service providers during COVID-19

14 August 2020

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Last updated: 23 Oct 2020