There are a number of restrictions for valuers in parts of Australia, as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help professionals navigate ever-changing lockdowns, ANZPJ has compiled a state-by-state breakdown of the restrictions for valuers at the time of writing this article.
Restrictions for valuers remain in place for metropolitan Melbourne, Greater Shepperton and the City of Ballarat, with only five reasons to leave your home: shopping, care and caregiving, exercise, authorised work and study, and to get a vaccine.
Workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless the workplace is an authorised provider or service, or all employees are working from home.
Permits will be required to leave the house for authorised works these need to be certified by an employer.
An employee does not need a worker permit if an employee is at risk at home, such as at risk of family violence, law enforcement, emergency services or health care workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer.
Penalties of up to $21,808 (for individuals) and $109,044 (for businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.
There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,817 (for individuals) and up to $10,904 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.
For the remaining towns in regional Victoria, there are no restrictions to leave home, however residents must not travel to metropolitan Melbourne, greater Shepperton or City of Ballarat except for or permitted education, to visit an intimate partner, for care and compassionate reasons, to access necessary goods and services provided they are from the facility that is closest to where you live or other limited reasons such as moving house.
As Victoria has now moved to a permit system, restrictions for valuers mean workers must carry a permit on them at all times when conducting valuation work.
A work permit must be filled out by an employer and provided to the worker – sole traders are instructed to fill in the permit as both employer and employee.
Under the rules of the permit, valuers are able to continue to conduct physical inspections of property where work is essential to the continued operation of an authorised provider such as a financial institution, court, tribunal or commission services, an electorate office, Victorian Parliament, or services which operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times.
“We strongly reinforce our earlier advice relating to our virtual valuation protocols, which enable members to conduct a full physical valuation without entering a premises,” said Australian Property Institute chief executive Amelia Hodge.
“Furthermore, we still recommend members carry our letter of support to provide further evidence of the necessity of valuation work in providing continuity to our critical industries.”
Those in regional Victoria outside of Shepperton and Ballarat should continue to work from home if possible, however offices can permit staff to attend on site for work – up to a capacity of 25 per cent or 10 people, whichever is greater.
New South Wales and ACT are extreme risk zones under Victoria’s travel permit system and residents of the cross border communities are currently required to obtain a Cross Border Extreme Risk Zone permit to enter (or return home to) Victoria if they are travelling for one of the permitted reasons, unless they have an
Regardless of the zone the person has been in, they can not get a permit to enter Victoria if presenting with COVID-19 or have any COVID-19 symptoms, have been to an exposure site listed on the website of the state or territory that is experiencing an outbreak, or have been deemed a close contact that requires quarantine for 14 days.
New South Wales
Stay at home rules apply to everyone living or staying in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong local government areas can only shop, exercise or engage in outdoor recreation within their local government area (LGA) or, if outside your LGA, within five kilometres of your home.
These rules also apply to anyone who has been in Greater Sydney for any reason within the last 14 days, however it does not apply to visiting your chosen singles bubble buddy or your intimate partner.
Those who are fully vaccinated, can now attend an outdoor gathering in a public space of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation so long as all those at the gathering aged 16 years or over are fully vaccinated – proof of your vaccination must be presented if requested.
If you’re in a LGA of concern – Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and parts of Penrith, the five-kilometre rule applies.
If you live in the local government areas of concern, you can only leave the local government area you live in to go to work if the business is allowed to be open and if you are an authorised worker.
Residents who are fully vaccinated can go out for outdoor recreation in a public space with fully vaccinated members of their household, or with one other fully vaccinated person who is not a member of your household for up to two hours a day – proof of your vaccination must be presented if requested.
A list of authorised workers for those in these 12 local government areas of concern and their exempted activities can be found here.
Stay at home restrictions have also been reinstated for the local government area of Yass Valley until 28 September 2021 – orders apply to anyone who has been in Yass Valley from 9 September 2021 onwards.
Businesses who allow employees to work when they are reasonably able to work from home face fines of $10,000 for corporations and $2,000 for individuals.
Parts of regional NSW currently deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days will emerge from lockdown, but will continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities.
Different levels of restrictions for valuers exist across New South Wales, with some areas stricter than others.
Outside of a restricted LGA, area of concern, valuers are required to work from home if they are reasonably able to do so.
As a physical valuation cannot reasonably be conducted from your home, according to the guidelines on the NSW website you should be able to continue operating uninterrupted.
Valuers living within a restricted LGA or needing to travel into a restricted LGA, will need to be on the NSW government’s list of authorised workers.
These are specified as a worker employed or engaged to provide a service that is necessary for a listed activity, such as public administration and safety, the administration of justice, critical legal services, Services NSW (including land tax and rate notices) and financial services
Inspections may be allowed, however they must be conducted by private appointment for one person only. There are no specific details around valuation inspections – for further clarification, contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
If you live in NSW regional and rural areas, you must have a reasonable excuse to enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.
If you enter these areas for any reason, stay at home rules will also apply to you for 14 days after you were last in any of these areas.
There are no travel declarations required for those entering NSW from Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Volunteers, students, those who cannot work from home and locals in certain local government areas – including the Tweed Shire – can now travel into Queensland for school, healthcare, essential shopping, court attendance and to care for the vulnerable.
Essential workers are required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine.
If you are a New South Wales border zone valuer that has been asked to conduct a valuation that requires travel across a border, it is recommended you refer the work to a valuer located within Queensland. Should that not be practically possible, you should be able to cross as an essential worker.
A full detailed list of border restrictions can be found here.
Restrictions for valuers remain in the ACT, which has it extended its lockdown for another four weeks until October 15.
The six essential reasons you can leave your home during this lockdown are to buy essential groceries and medicine, to access essential healthcare including in-home care, for essential work, to exercise outdoors for one hour per day in your region or to get a COVID-19 test or vaccination.
From 11:59pm this Friday, there will be some slight changes to current restrictions, ACT Health has confirmed.
The changes include the recommencement of outdoor social and recreational sport with up to five people, small businesses currently permitted to operate a click-and-collect or delivery service can have up to five people in the business at any one time or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser (increasing from two people at a premises).
If you live outside the ACT in one of the approved NSW postcodes (listed here), you can enter the ACT for approved essential reasons under the lockdown restrictions. You must carry identification with you at all times to prove your residency; ACT policing will be conducting compliance checks.
Essential workers entering or leaving lockdown areas may do so to perform their work, however you should work from home if possible.
The government has defined essential workers and a list of essential businesses permitted to operate, with a selection of these possibly applying to valuation work.
These include the need to fulfil or undertake any legal obligations (eg to attend any court or tribunal of Australia), to assist with or participate in an investigation or other action by a law enforcement authority, whether voluntarily or not, to comply with or give effect to the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under law or to undertake essential work or study, if they cannot work or study from home or remotely.
From September 17, there will be the recommencement of in-person house inspections by private appointment – only household members will be permitted to attend an appointment with one real estate agent.
Anyone entering the ACT will need to follow the lockdown restrictions in the ACT– if the person has been in any area subject to travel restrictions, they must also follow the requirements of those travel restrictions.
Those travelling, must regularly check the public health advice in the state or territory they are visiting or travelling from.
There are no restrictions in Queensland outside of those requiring residents to wear masks, maintain physical distance and capacity limits.
There are no restrictions for valuers in Queensland outside of border closures, capacity limits and masks.
Queensland has declared New South Wales, ACT and Victoria as red zones – those who have been to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Queensland, except for a limited range of essential purposes.
Queensland residents who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot can return home by air, and new residents can relocate to Queensland if they complete 14 days mandatory quarantine, monitor the list of interstate exposure venues daily and complete the Queensland entry pass.
If you are entering Queensland from interstate or New Zealand, you will have to follow specific rules if you have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot (a local government area or entire state or territory), an interstate exposure venue (a specific location in another state, territory or safe travel zone country) or a declared place of concern (a local government area or region).
From 1am AEST Monday 13 September 2021, travel for work or volunteering that cannot be performed at home and to attend face-to-face learning at an educational institution, between Queensland and some Local Government Areas in the New South Wales border zone is allowed.
People crossing the border for work or volunteering that cannot be performed from home will need to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Border zone residents who have been to the LGAs of Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke, City of Broken Hill or the unincorporated Far West will only be allowed to enter Queensland for essential work, emergency volunteering and other limited essential purposes.
To enter the state, the person must complete a Queensland entry pass, get tested if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms after arriving in Queensland and monitor the list of interstate exposure venues daily (at least once every 24 hours) from the time you complete a declaration and for 14 days after arriving in Queensland.
When you receive your Queensland entry pass via email, you must read all instructions and be able to access it at all times (either in a printed version or on an electronic device).
Western Australia has imposed a hard border with Victoria, NSW and ACT, limiting exemptions for people hoping to cross the border.
Under the previous border regulations, exempt travellers were allowed to enter WA from NSW, including people on compassionate grounds, however the state government said travellers would now need to show “extenuating circumstances” to enter WA.
There are no restrictions for valuers in Western Australia outside of border closures.
Currently Western Australia deems NSW to be a high risk jurisdiction, meaning you are not permitted to enter without an approval through G2G PASS.
If permitted entry, the person must self-quarantine at a suitable premises for 14 days. If a suitable premises is not available, the person will be directed to a government approved quarantine facility at your own expense.
Approved travellers must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the 72 hours prior to departure and proof of receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, where eligible. There will also need to be COVID-19 tests on day two and day 12 of quarantine.
Travellers from medium risk jurisdictions are not permitted to enter unless approved – this currently includes ACT, Queensland and Victoria.
Valuers from these states are not permitted to enter without an approval through G2G PASS. If permitted entry, they must self-quarantine at a suitable premises for 14 days. If a suitable premises is not available, you will be directed to a Government approved quarantine facility at your own expense.
Approved travellers are subject to a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of quarantine, or at any point when symptoms develop. A mask must be worn while travelling to and from the COVID Clinic – the person must wear a mask from when they arrive at suitable self-quarantine premises.
South Australia is considered a low risk jurisdiction, requiring travellers to complete a mandatory G2G PASS registration and declaration, a health screening on arrival. The person must also verify they have suitable premises for self-quarantine and enter self-quarantine for 14 days. If not, they will be directed to enter a Government-approved quarantine facility at your own expense for 14 days.
Travellers are subject to a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of quarantine, or at any point when symptoms develop.
Every other state and territory can enter the state if they complete a registration and health check on arrival. There is no quarantine required.
There are no restrictions in Northern Territory outside of those requiring residents to wear masks and maintain physical distance.
There are no restrictions for valuers in Northern Territory outside of border closures – Visitors to the Northern Territory (NT) will not be permitted entry if they are from a declared Covid-19 hotspot or public exposure site. Any visitors from these areas will be turned around and may be subject to a fine.
People can only be allowed to enter the Northern Territory if they are a returning Territorian or have received an approved exemption to enter from the CHO.
All arrivals to the Northern Territory must also fill in a Border Entry Form – exemptions to enter the Northern Territory may take up to 72 hours to process.
There are no restrictions in South Australia outside of those requiring residents to wear masks and maintain physical distance.
There are no restrictions for valuers in South Australia outside of border closures.
All travellers who have been in Victoria, ACT and New South Wales are currently prohibited from entering South Australia – except for essential travellers and some permitted arrivals.
Travellers other than those deemed essential may apply for an exemption from SA Health, which may approve travel to South Australia.
Any person arriving from Western Australia and Tasmania is permitted to enter South Australia without restriction as long as they have not been in a restricted zone in the past 14 days.
There are currently no major restrictions in Tasmania outside of masks, social distancing and capacity limits.
There are no restrictions for valuers outside of border closures, with people from NSW, the ACT or Victoria not allowed to enter Tasmania unless they have special permission from the deputy state controller.
Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area or premise need to provide information to help determine entry and quarantine requirements for travel to Tasmania – applications should be submitted at least five business days and not more than seven days before the person plans to travel to Tasmania.
Only returning Tasmanian residents and anyone deemed an essential traveller can receive a G2G pass to enter the state from those jurisdictions.
Approved travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania, will have to quarantine in a government-designated facility or a suitable premises.
For more information on restrictions for valuers, head to the Australian Property Institute’s COVID-19 Hub.