Like most countries around the world, Australia has a number of Covid-19 lockdown measures in place.
These measures vary from State to State and can affect business such as cafes/bars/restaurants/gyms/pools and most retail shops and sporting events. Other businesses that are deemed as an essential service such as supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, Freight and Logistics companies etc per State Govt regulations are operating on a restricted basis depending on their location.
Certain industries are able to operate as ” Essential Services”.
At this time in Melbourne and Brisbane we are able to operate as a “Essential Service” and therefore it is business as usual for OSS in these locations, as we are able to operate under the Freight and Logistics Exemption in place.
At this time in Sydney the situation is far more complicated. Since the start of covid restrictions in early 2020 we have been able to operate in Sydney as an essential service.
We are currently subject to just introduced greater restrictions for the LGA’s (Local Government Area’s) within Sydney of Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River. These areas almost cover half of Sydney and approx. 2 million people reside in these areas.
These LGA areas include the current Sydney covid ‘hotspots’ and are where almost all of the mainstream international movers (i.e. OSS, Chess, Allied, Grace, Conroy, Kent etc) are located and where the bulk of their crews reside.
We are unable to have our workers who reside inside these LGA’s perform removal work outside of these areas, so work such as delivery and uplift has virtually come to a stop in the past couple of days in Sydney.
Where possible some limited work may be able to be performed using the very limited number of crew available, who do not reside in the 8 restricted LGAs.
Normal warehousing operations and movements to / from the port (and airport) are able to continue in all 3 cities including Sydney, not withstanding the other limitations mentioned above.
In the rare cases where it is possible to still perform work at clients residences in Sydney there may be some temporary modification to our services. At OSS we are working on providing solutions to be able to perform an optimal service level within the NSW Govt. restrictions that apply, and this will involve some modification to our services.
These modifications to service might include delays in delivery, changes to delivery and packing dates, reduced service where we are only able to deliver household goods for the owner to unpack. Where this is the case we would unpack/assemble critical furniture such as beds and dining table with a reduced number of crew and potentially working with partners in the industry to assist in deliveries/cartage etc. We will subsequently return to residence at the earliest opportunity after the restrictions are lifted to collect debris and possibly complete any unpacking remaining.
– Surveys in home (by video)
– Packing and uplift (See comments above)
– Delivery to the port/airport (See comments above)
– Collection from Port
– Customs and Quarantine Clearances
– Delivery to residence (See comments above)
With all the Covid lockdowns in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour in NSW, Victoria, South East Queensland (including Brisbane) & South Australia at present we may not be able to perform complete unpacking of cartons as per our normal service as interactions with customers and time spent at the residence must be kept to an absolute minimum. At all times please be mindful of these restrictions otherwise, we will be placed in a difficult position balancing client expectations and the welfare of our crews, with the latter being paramount.
Customers should note that should they not be accepting of OSS requirements, it may be, that we will be unable to perform a pack & uplift or delivery, as our strict conditions to operate as an essential service may be at risk of being breached if we were to proceed without the below customer requirements being met:
- We are practicing social distancing and avoiding unnecessary physical interaction with customers. This can include keeping physical contact to a minimum (avoid handshakes, etc) and requesting customers to maintain social distancing (minimum 1.5 metres) from the crews.
- Clients MUST wear masks at all times that our crews are performing their removal services.
- We also request customers limit the number of people in the residence at the time of uplift or delivery so only one customer is interacting with our crew and others remain outside the premises or in other parts of the residence not being entered by our crew
During this COVID lockdown period, where we are able to be operational, we have a number of measures in place to address the COVID-19 situation, which include:
- We require all employees to adopt frequent hand-washing and other sanitising measures. We have provided all staff with these means including hand sanitiser in all company vehicles.
- We are performing increased cleaning and disinfecting of all frequently touched surfaces in our offices, warehouses, and trucks.
- We are ensuring crews are equipped with masks and personal hand sanitiser as needed.
- Crews are being covid tested every 7 days.
- We are actively monitoring the daily health status of all employees through temperature checks, a series of health-related questions and providing sanitiser solutions for all staff. Our policy requires any employees showing any sign of sickness to stay home, undergo a COVID test and isolate until a negative result is received. Employees who have symptoms of cold or flu symptoms will be required to stay home until they are fever and symptom free for at least 24 hours and provide a medical certificate from their doctor before returning to the workplace.
We have implemented a work from home program for many staff to ensure the social distancing within our offices for those remaining in the office
Generally speaking the effect of a general lockdown presents more challenges than usual and these are being dealt with as they arise, maintaining our Customer Service focus at all times. Shipping line freight services are less reliable than usual as the lines endeavour to deal with the changed pattern of commercial freight movements globally over the past six months. Airfreight services are particularly limited and restricted at this time.
All of the above measures are subject to change at any time as the Federal Government and the individual State Governments grapple with the unique circumstances prevailing in Australia (and the world) due to COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant.
To date our Federal Government has adopted a balanced approach to dealing with COVID-19, in an attempt to control the virus spread against the need to ensure the economy is not destroyed by those control measures and other measures in place in Australia and elsewhere.
This approach has proven relatively successful to date although things are still volatile and being reviewed daily by Federal and State Governments and their Agencies. The State of NSW (main city Sydney) has a greater outbreak of the Delta Variant of COVID-19 than other States/Cities and whilst we are able to operate in Sydney in a limited form outlined above as restrictions are tighter in NSW and our earlier comments regarding in home activities need to be carefully noted.
Thank you for your ongoing support and rest assured we will do all in our power to maintain services whilst complying with the Government directives and common-sense preventative measures.