MAJOR livestock selling centres across NSW have brought back severe restrictions on who can enter their facilities this week.
The move is in response to the expanding clusters of COVID-19 infections in both NSW and Victoria.
In addition to reintroducing tighter advice as to who should be at the sales, Central West Livestock Exchange, Forbes, has requested anybody attending sales to wear a mask.
This is new advice in line with recommendations made by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that NSW residents should wear a mask to fight coronavirus.
"I want to stress it is not compulsory, but it is a strong recommendation from Health, given where we are in the pandemic, given the risk posed from Victoria and given the rate of community transmission in NSW," the Premier said during the weekend.
"Where you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, you should be wearing a mask."
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CWLE management have warned people to stay at home of they do not need to be at the sale.
"If you are not selling stock or aren't genuinely buying please do not attend," a statement issued late last week said.
"THE CWLE is not a social event, if you want to catch up for a yarn please do this outside the yards. The last thing we want is to shut our sales down."
Buyer walkways are also now off limits to anybody who is not a professional buyer at CWLE.
CWLE management have said anybody not adhering to social distancing rules and good hygiene practice will be asked to leave and attendance forms will be required to gain entry.
Meanwhile, Dubbo Regional Livestock Market have issued an updated DRLM COVID-19 Declaration.
Visitors who have travelled, or have been in contact with someone that has travelled from Victoria or a COVID-19 hotspot location in NSW will not gain access to the DRLM sale.
Old DRLM COVID-19 Declaration forms will no longer be accepted which means everybody attended the Dubbo sales this week will need to fill out the new forms.
Regional Livestock Exchanges (managed by AAM Investment Group), which covers facilities at Wodonga, Carcoar, Singleton, Tamworth and Inverell, have implemented additional protocols for people attending weekly sales.
Only those essential to the sale process can attend the sale such as operating agents, pre-approved buyers, transporters and RLX staff.
Mandatory visual buyer identification and verification will be required and all those in attendance must continue to sign in on arrival.
AAM Investment Group LX general manager Cye Travers said now is not the time for complacency in relation to the risks of COVID-19 and the efforts of the majority has delivered a tremendous outcome for all within our industry to date.
"As always, the wellbeing of those essential staff and participants onsite has been our constant and foremost consideration, and we're working to keep our people safe while ensuring the operational continuity of livestock sales and maintaining our responsibility for health and safety," Mr Travers said.
"RLX has been consistently working with industry groups to ensure that public health and safety is maintained alongside delivering market access and to this end, it is an absolute requirement of all those attending RLX facilities to maintain adequate social distancing, uphold hygiene standards, practice respiratory hygiene and do not come to site if you are feeling unwell.
"RLX will continue to work with key industry bodies to manage any changes as required by State and Federal Governments."
The changes at NSW sites come into force this week and were implemented across Victorian sites five weeks ago.
Across RLX facilities in Victoria all on site need to wear a face mask when they arrive and continue to wear the face mask for the duration of their time on site.
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