Employees in NSW who have been working from home since the pandemic may face a return to the office earlier than they expected.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday morning indicated she was looking at ways for workers from all across Sydney to start going back to their workplaces.
“We want people to start going back to the CBD, no doubt about it,” she told 2GB on Wednesday.
“We want to make sure it’s done safely, so we’re giving people good instructions on public transport, good instructions on options to drive and park, active transport, having different hours of starting and finishing.
“And as the Prime Minister said, the CBD doesn’t just mean Sydney. It means all of our centres, whether it’s Wollongong, Newcastle, Parramatta or Liverpool,” she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday made a push for public sector workers to get back into the office, arguing that Covid-19 cases in most areas had fallen to a low and safe enough level for workers to come back.
A note issued to public sector workers for the month of September stated that “employees should return to their usual workplaces, where it is safe to do so” where there was “limited or no community transmission of COVID-19”.
“Current public health advice states that the current number of COVID-19 cases is low in most communities. Therefore, all employees, even those at higher risk of more severe illness, may be able to return to usual workplaces,” it said.
“Agencies should assess their workplaces to ensure they are COVID-safe and can accommodate the return of employees to the workplace.”
Morrison and Berejiklian said the push was so business based in the CBD, such as cafes and restaurants who depend on patronage from office workers nearby, can go back to normal.
“We do want people to get back to those CBDs and support those economies and those businesses that have essentially been inactive for seven to eight months,” Berejiklian said.
The remarks come as NSW Transport is set to raise Opal travel fees from next Monday.
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