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Lobbying persuades NSW to delay closing testing sites

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Transport for NSW has listened to industry concerns over the imminent closure of its six freight-friendly Covid testing sites and is extending their operation.

In a freight industry update earlier today TfNSW said the sites at Ballina, Narrandera, Taree, Tarcutta, Marulan and Yass would now remain open for asymptomatic testing until the end of January.

“We previously communicated that the testing sites would be closing from Monday 17 January as there is no longer a requirement for asymptomatic testing for freight workers travelling interstate,” said Bianca Slack-Smith, TfNSW’s assistance executive director for Freight.

“However, in light of current demand the sites will continue to operate for the remainder of January 2022. We will continue to monitor the demand at each site and will communicate plans for decommissioning the sites once confirmed.”

Given the uncertainty of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) supplies until more arrive from overseas, NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said this is welcome news for truckies.

“TfNSW will continue to monitor demand at each site and will communicate its plans for decommissioning the sites once confirmed,” said Clark.

“It’s reminding drivers who have Covid-19 symptoms to complete a RAT at home or a PCR test at a local NSW community testing clinic.

“And of course mask wearing, vaccinations, physical distancing, maintaining good hygiene, cleaning workplaces and health surveillance controls remain critical to reducing the risks of Covid-19.”

TfNSW also advises of changes to operating hours at the Narrandera site. Covid testing will be available from 9am-5pm, seven days a week, rather than for 24 hours each day.

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