Labor urges NSW Government to offer paid pandemic leave

Labor urges NSW Government to offer paid pandemic leave

Many Macarthur residents have rushed to get tested for Covid-19 due to recent outbreaks in south-west Sydney, however some locals fear losing income if they do require testing.

The NSW Labor party is urging the state government to follow Victoria's lead and offer paid pandemic leave to workers in self-isolation awaiting Covid-19 test results to help stop the spread of the virus.

Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said families needed to be able to pay the bills while in isolation.

"Many people are hesitant to get tested because they may not get any income while in isolation," he said.

"Lots of people have the ability to work from home but other workers including truck drivers and tradespeople don't have that luxury - and some of them have had a lot of time off of work already due to the pandemic."

Recent Victorian data revealed 90 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus were still going to work between the onset of symptoms and having a test.

More than half of those positive cases didn't self-isolate while waiting for their results.

"Clearly people need to pay their bills so there needs to be a program in place so people have no fear of losing their income if they do need to be tested," Mr Warren said.

"Our message is that if you do need to be tested - absolutely go and get tested.

"We will keep fighting to have something put in place but if you have any symptoms please go and get tested."

NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said it was crucial for the NSW Government to support people in insecure work to stay home.

"We're in the middle of an economic crisis. Many people have insecure work, with no sick leave," she said.

"They can't afford to miss a shift. If they do, they may struggle to feed their families and could lose more work.

"When unemployment is dramatically increasing, you'd do just about anything to hold on to your job.

"That's understandable, and insecure work is something Labor's been fighting against for a long time. But that can't be the reason our community is put at risk.

"Nothing is more important than getting this virus under control and stopping outbreaks.

"That is why we want the government to implement, as Victoria has, a $300 payment for people who get tested so they can self-isolate while waiting for results."

The opposition spokesman for health Ryan Park said people shouldn't have to choose between following health advice and putting food on the table.

"This is specifically for people who don't have sick leave, who have no other way to support themselves and otherwise might have to go to work," he said.

"We want you to stay home. It's the right thing to do for yourself, the people around you and for the community.

"We know also that some people might not get tested because they're fearful of having to self-isolate and potentially miss a shift or lose their jobs.

"We want everyone who has symptoms or who has been in a hotspot to get tested."

As the numbers of positive Covid-19 cases in south-west Sydney continues to grow, NSW Health is urging anyone who has been to a site visited by an infected person to get tested immediately.

Some of the closest sites to Macarthur where visitors must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested include:

Campbelltown Plus Fitness (9am-10am, July 11), Crossroads Hotel Casula (July 3-July 10), Casula Plus Fitness (July 4-July 10), Mounties Mount Pritchard (July 23, midnight-3am, July 24 11am-3pm and 8pm-midnight, July 25 midnight-3am), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mount Pritchard (July 19, 7.30am-8.30am), Picton Hotel (July 4, July 5, July 9 and July 10), and Thai Rock Wetherill Park (July 9-July 12 and July 14).

Monitor for symptoms if you've visited any of the following locations:

Bavarian Macarthur (July 11, 7.30pm-9pm), Macarthur Tavern (July 11, 9.15pm-12.40am), Wests Leagues Leumeah (July 10, 8am-midnight, July 12 midnight-2.30am), Kmart Casula Mall (July 10, 5pm-midnight), Guzman y Gomez Hoxton Park (July 12, 7.30am-9pm), Pritchard's Hotel, Mount Pritchard (July 23, 7pm-7.45pm), Tahmoor Pharmacy for Less (July 12, 9am-10.40am) and Stockland Wetherill Park (July 9-12 and July 14).

The growing list of sites and testing locations is available at the NSW Health website and is updated everyday.