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4 square metre rule returns as Sydney masks up

By Staff Reporter
23 June 2021 | 12 minute read
people wearing mask outside reb

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in Sydney, a new mask mandate will directly affect businesses across the Greater Sydney area, while a return to the one person per 4 square metre rule will also require real estate agencies to take note.

Agencies across the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour are also affected by the new restrictions, which see mask-wearing become compulsory in all indoor non-residential setting, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.

People living or working in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra local government areas have also been told they cannot travel outside the metropolitan Sydney area for non-essential reasons.


It’s likely this will have an impact on real estate activities over the coming week across New South Wales, as agents and property managers in the affected areas pivot online or to alternate COVID-safe arrangements.

Sydney businesses have been urged to “set the standard” with the mask wearing mandate, which is set to remain in place for at least one week from Wednesday, 23 June 2021.

This will require employers to direct employees to comply with the health direction, until otherwise advised by authorities, or unless an exception applies.

According to Larry Drewsen, the health and safety manager at Employsure, “employers must remain vigilant over the next week and realise the responsibility falls directly on them”.

He is urging employers to review health directions and government information to understand what it means for their business, what their staff need to do, and whether exemptions apply.

“Ensuring staff comply will be a matter of monitoring workplace behaviour, and failure for staff to comply would allow an employer to commence a disciplinary process against the relevant employee,” he outlined.  

“By now, employers should know what a lockdown means for them. Abide by the rules, or risk a fine, or the health of their staff, customers, and clients. As well as enforcing the wearing of masks, workplaces should ensure they’re following personal hygiene guidelines, and that routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting takes place regularly.”

Mr Drewsen acknowledged it as “a stressful time for business owners as we wait for the vaccine rollout to speed up, all of us must work to stop the spread of this latest cluster, until we are in a better position to lift restrictions once more”.

With new COVID-19 cases still cropping up across a number of Australian states — and very much a cause for concern — a CEO has previously highlighted to REB why it’s “essential” businesses take their workplace health and safety obligations seriously, and offered up best practice for creating COVID-safe policies. Read more here.

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