NSW Rules For Tradies During COVID-19

Disclaimer: We are doing our best to keep this article updated with the latest information from the Government. Read full Infrastructure NSW Guidance here. If you need immediate support, please contact NSW Business Concierge or Service NSW on 13 77 88. 

Last updated: 26 August 2021

This article covers topline information and answers for those operating trade businesses during NSW lockdown.

When is lockdown extended to?

Lockdown has been extended to September 2021

Who do these restrictions apply to? 

Stay at home orders apply to Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

Are trade businesses allowed to operate?

Yes. After a construction pause, the NSW government has announced that construction will return. All workers who do not live in or are not temporarily staying in a local government area of concern can go back to work, and those in the LGAs of concern must follow specific rules.

Work permitted in local government areas of concern

Restrictions apply to the local government areas of concern: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith.

Work is permitted at constructions sites in the local government areas of concern provided occupiers of these construction sites:

  • comply with the capacity limits for construction sites;

  • ensure their workers comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements before the worker enters the site; and

  • have a COVID-19 safety plan.

Workers who live in a local government area of concern are permitted if they comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Do I need a COVID QR check-in on a construction site?

Yes, since Monday 12 July, Service NSW QR code is mandatory in all workplaces across NSW, including construction sites, from Monday 12 July. 

Contractors are required to display the Service NSW QR code and take reasonable steps to ensure all workers check-in.

How can I complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan and register as a COVID-19 Safe Business?

Register and follow guidance using this Government portal.

Do I need to wear a mask on site?

Masks must be worn while working both indoors and outdoors. 

How many people am I allowed on site?

Construction sites that are permitted to operate in Greater Sydney can have the lesser of:

  • 1 person per 4 square metres of space at the construction site; or

  • 50% of the maximum daily workforce

The maximum daily workforce is the maximum number of workers on site on any day from the start to the end of the project. The maximum daily workforce must be derived from the current resourcing plan for the construction site.

Construction sites that are permitted to operate in regional and rural NSW can have 1 person per 4m2 at the site.

What are the fines for breaches?

The maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months and/or a penalty of up to $11,000, plus a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Companies that fail to comply with a direction are liable to:

  • a fine of $55,000

  • Further $27,500 fine each day the offence continues.

On the spot fines include:

  • $4,000 for failing to provide or falsifying information to an enforcement officer

  • $5,000 for a breach of the Public Health order

  • $1,000 in other cases.

Fines for mask breaches:

  • Penalties of up to $200 for an individual

  • $1,000 for a corporation 

What are the government grants or financial support?

Yes, there is the major Australian COVID-19 Disaster Payment for people affected by restrictions. See NSW eligibility here.

Is there financial support or grants from the NSW government?

Yes, support is now live. You will need to:

For NSW, there are three business grants.

1. COVID-19 business grant 

This is for business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions. You will need to show that there has been a decline in turnover due to lockdown restrictions during an equivalent period in June or July 2019.

  • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more

  • $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more

  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

The grant can be used for business expenses that are not supported by the government including rent, utilities and wages.

Apply here

2. Saving Jobs

This is a support program to retain staff. The outline is

  • Businesses can receive payments of up to 40% of their weekly payroll, or between $1,500 to $10,000 in weekly payments

  • Sole traders can apply for weekly payments of up to $1,000

3. Micro business grant

Small business or sole traders with annual turnover of more than $30,000 and under $75,000, can apply for grants of up to $1500 per fortnight. You will need to show there has been a decline in turnover of 30% to be eligible.


  • The NSW government announced payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with wages bills of between $1.2 million and $10 million that experience a 30% decline in turnover.

  • Businesses will be granted access payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans.

How can I apply for these grants and what do I need?

You can apply for notifications and see all grants here.

Do you need further support?

This time can put more stress on you, both on-site and at home. 

If you’re finding things tough, our friends at Mates In Construction have a supportive helpline 1300 642 111.

We are on hand to rearranging orders or to help you

You can rearrange booked orders as you need by logging into your Found account. If you need urgent help with an order, please call our team on 1300 980 626.


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