Home » COVID 19 Construction Update: NSW construction sites shut down until end of July 2021

COVID 19 Construction Update: NSW construction sites shut down until end of July 2021

Posted by Ben Robertson | 19 July 2021 | Civil Contractors and Construction

On Saturday 17 July 2021, the NSW Government issued a public health order directing that work not be carried out on construction sites in Greater Sydney, unless the work is urgently required for a limited number of purposes.


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Commencement of The Shutdown

The public health order commenced at 12.01am on 19 July 2021 and is now in force. The NSW Government has indicated that it will remain in force until 30 July 2021.

Limited Exemptions For Certain Work To Continue

The limited exemptions where work is permitted by the public health order are:

  1. To ensure the safety or security of the construction site;
  2. To deal with environmental risks;
  3. To maintain critical plant or equipment that would otherwise deteriorate;
  4. To receive deliveries of supplies that would otherwise deteriorate;
  5. To maintain public utilities;
  6. To ensure the safe operation of existing transport infrastructure;
  7. By or on behalf of NSW Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  8. Because of an emergency.


Penalties may apply for breach of a public health order, and the following penalties may be imposed:

  • For individuals, a 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.
  • For corporations, a maximum penalty of $55,000, plus a further $27,500 fine each day the offence continues.
  • On the spot fines may be issued as follows:
  1. $4,000 for failing to provide or falsifying information to an enforcement officer (in breach of clause 6 of the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020
  2. $5,000 for a breach of the Public Health (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Order (No 2) 2020; and
  3. $1,000 in other cases
  • Penalties of up to $200 for an individual or $1,000 for a corporation may be issued for breach of an order relating to masks.

Next Steps:

  • Following construction sites being shut down over the weekend of 17 – 18 July 2021, builders and subcontractors should review their contracts closely and attend to issuing contract notices for extensions of time and suspension of work as applicable.
  • In addition, the contract mechanisms that allocate the risks of the costs of a site shut-down should be closely reviewed.
  • Any applicable contract notices should be issued where additional costs for delays caused by the site shut-down can be claimed.

Should you have any queries in relation to business interruption policies, please contact us on construction@nexuslayers.com.au

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