The Project's Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly have urged the NSW government to define what an essential worker is, as queues snaked around COVID testing centres after the introduction of surveillance testing for Fairfield’s essential workers.
On Wednesday, new health orders were introduced requiring essential workers to get tested every three days if they work outside the area.
Speaking of the lines of people queuing at the testing centres, Carrie Bickmore said it really showed that people were eager to do the right thing.
“You often hear about the worst of people in these times, the ones who have the illegal parties, the ones that aren’t forthcoming with information and then you see those queues,” Carrie said.
“People that have worked a full day, have families waiting for them at home.
"It's night time, they wait for six hours, only to not even get in, go home, three hours later, turn around and go to work.
"They are doing that to do the right thing and to be good citizens, and to do it for other people. That is the good.
"I was amazed when I saw that this morning."
Waleed then made the point that there needs to be clarification on what defines an essential worker.
“It could well be that a whole load of those people actually wouldn’t be essential if the government named it and there would be fewer people who need to get those tests every week or twice a week or whatever, which would then take pressure off the system," he said.
Carrie agreed with Waleed, saying: “The devil’s always in the detail in all these things. It can change people’s entire lives if you give them really strict clarity
The NSW government urged people to use their "common sense" to determine who can and can't leave home.
"It is so, so difficult to have a precise rule for every single thing," Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.
"That's why we rely on common sense (and why) we rely on people to respect the intent of the health orders as well as the letter of the health orders."
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