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ICA says urgent repairs allowed during Sydney lockdown

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Emergency make-safe works and other critical building repairs are allowed to proceed in the current lockdown in Sydney, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says.

ICA says the same applies to SA, which has been in a seven-day lockdown since last week with Premier Steven Marshall indicating the state is poised to end the curbs tomorrow night.

The update on essential insurance repair work from the ICA last week came as the country seeks to contain the latest COVID outbreak, with the Delta variant plunging NSW into its strictest lockdown since the pandemic broke out in March last year.

Victoria is also in a lockdown which may ease tomorrow night after the state recorded 11 new cases today.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said this morning it is uncertain as to when the Sydney lockdown will end as the state reported today 145 new cases. Greater Sydney’s stay-at-home orders have now entered their fifth week.

She says the lockdown was a “day-to-day” issue and that her government was assessing whether some restrictions could be eased from July 31.

ICA says all non-urgent repairs in Sydney will cease until July 31 in support of the NSW Public Health Order.

The industry body also says repair of motor vehicles during the current pandemic restrictions is necessary to support essential workers and emergency and health services, as well as essential travel for all residents.

It says insurers have therefore been advised motor repairs are permitted and that those living within the Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas (LGAs) undertaking this work are authorised workers who will be able to leave their homes to conduct this essential function.

“Accidents and damage will still occur during these lockdowns, so customers should not hesitate to contact their insurer if they are looking for assistance or to make a claim,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.

“While we play an essential function, we are extremely mindful of the intent of the Government’s Health Order and where possible will limit movement of staff and contractors both into and out of impacted LGAs and across greater Sydney.

“Prior to these current restrictions a shortage of trades and goods and state border closures, on top of a number of natural disasters such as the recent NSW floods, have been impacting insurance repairs and remediation times for customers.”

He says insurers are working hard with suppliers to ensure they can continue important work on customers’ claims while also seeking to comply with restrictions.

ICA says urgent building repairs include emergency make-safes, necessary repairs to ensure a home is habitable, critical repairs that are required to mitigate the risk of further damage and urgent repairs to damaged business premises if required to ensure the safety or security of the building.