Hunter workers will only need to seek a permit if they are travelling into the 12 local government areas of concern under the system launched overnight.
The new permit system, which unions have slammed the government for poorly organising, came into effect at 12.01am Saturday.
The system was announced last weekend but no information was published until Friday. Permit applications could still not be made as of late yesterday.
It is mainly targeting Greater Sydney residents travelling into regional NSW, but those travelling into the city will be impacted as well.
"Hunter workforces relying on travelling for essential business into Central Coast and many of the northern Sydney LGAs can continue to do this without a permit, as long as the purpose is legitimate and provable," Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said. "NSW Police and NSW Health now require specific entry permits for travel for essential work into the Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta and Strathfield LGAs, and also some Penrith LGA suburbs that are listed on the NSW Health website."
Under the new order, Greater Sydney residents travelling to regional NSW require a permit for: travelling more than 50km for work, although workers need a negative COVID-test result in the week prior; travelling to a second home for work or urgent maintenance; inspecting a potential new residence (only those with intentions to relocate ASAP, no investment properties); permanently relocating.
As the Central Coast has been separated from Greater Sydney, people there do not need a permit to travel here.
In addition to that system, the government also yesterday announced that any transport worker who lives or works in an local government area of concern will need a permit to go to work, and workers who live in LGAs of concern and work outside their LGA will be banned from working unless they've received their first vaccine dose by August 30.
Transport Workers' Union state secretary Richard Olsen slammed the government for failing to get the system up and regional permit system organised this week, saying it potentially risked a shortage of goods in some areas.
"The NSW government have made a complete mess of the regional travel permits, and now they are saying every single transport worker living or working in the hot spot LGAs needs a permit by next weekend," he said.
"We can't afford a situation where tens of thousands of transport workers are prevented from going to work because of a botched permit scheme or because they haven't been able to get a vaccine appointment. If that happens it will be complete chaos across the industry."
Meanwhile, dozens of police worked checkpoints on three main roads out of Sydney near the border of the Lake Macquarie and Central Coast council areas on Friday.
Light vehicles were being stopped at the static checkpoints on the M1 Motorway before the Morisset exit, Pacific Highway at Lake Munmorah and Wyee Road at Wyee.
Police are targeting those breaching public health orders and without a valid reason to be travelling into the region.
A video posted on social media showed at least a dozen police cars blocking the left northbound lane.
VIDEO WARNING: Offensive language.
Light vehicles are being pulled off to the side of the road while heavy vehicles are continuing to pass using the right lane.
The high visibility operation will continue into tonight.
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