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COVID-19 Safety Plan

Version: 6.0
Last Amendment: 17 May 2021
Policy owner/sponsor: Chief Operating Officer
Branch contact: Governance and Risk Specialist
Approved by: Chief Operating Officer
Date approved: 11 October 2021
Next review: 1 December 2021 or as required

COVID-19 Safety Plan


This Safety Plan outlines how the State Library of New South Wales (the Library) is

complying with Public Health Orders and NSW Health advice in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing risks posed by the virus to staff, volunteers, readers and visitors.

The format of the Plan is based on the specific template provided by NSW Health for libraries.

Align with the Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, the Library re-opens to the public from 10 am, 11th October 2021 as directed.  Staff are encouraged to work from home where they can reasonably and effectively do so.

Operational requirements

Wellbeing of staff and visitors


The Library has instituted an Action Plan for persons presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.

Any staff or contractor, volunteer, or visitor who present as unwell will be asked to leave and be referred for COVID-19 testing. People will not be able to return to the Library until symptoms have subsided and on presentation of a recent negative test result.

Advice to staff and volunteers

The Library has developed a COVID-Safe handbook which provides information for staff and volunteers on when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning.

Front-facing personnel onsite who have received appropriate training in relation to staying away from work when sick, physical distancing, wearing masks, cleaning requirements and managing sick visitors.

Conditions of entry

Special conditions of entry in light of the COVID-19 pandemic have been addended to the Library’s Reader and Visitor Code of Conduct and are regularly updated on the Library’s website, at all entrances to the Library and through other communication channels.


The operator of the Library’s café, Laissez-Faire, has a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

COVID-19 vaccination

All staff and visitors aged 16 or over must be fully vaccinated (or hold an approved medical exemption) to enter the Library.  Additional security staff will be present at all entrances to the Library to check the vaccination status of all visitors before admission.  For visitors taking a break outside the Library, a wrist band will be issued to identify that their vaccination status has already been verified when they return.

Once staff have provided evidence to Human Resources that they are fully vaccinated, a new security pass will be issued.  This pass will allow the security teams at all entrances to recognise them as a member of staff and that they are fully vaccinated.

Physical distancing


Capacity must not exceed one person per 4 square metres of space in any discrete space within the Library and one person per 2 square metres of space in outdoor areas of the Library.

Physical distancing

Where possible, maintaining a safe physical distance of 1.5 metres, including:

  • At points of mixing or queuing
  • Between seated groups
  • Between staff


Signage is provided at entrances to all public areas to indicate the maximum capacity of people based on the limit of one person per four square metres.


The security team will ensure orderly queues are formed for people wishing to enter the Library.  In the event of congestion at any time within the Library, for example in an Exhibition space, security will intervene.


The Library has a building management system that allows the air quality to be continually monitored and controlled remotely.  Air conditioning units will be adjusted to ensure the maximum intake of outside air will be used and a minimum of recycled air provided temperature and humidity are maintained within an acceptable range.

Carbon Dioxide levels are monitored throughout the building to ensure levels remain well within recommended levels.

Outdoor Settings

Staff have a variety of outdoor spaces adjacent to lunch rooms to use during work breaks.  The Café will be providing as much outdoor seating capacity as possible.  There are many outdoor spaces adjacent to the Library for use by visitors and staff.

The Library staff and security staff will direct readers and visitors to use outdoor spaces where possible, particularly when eating and drinking

Staggered working hours

The Library’s core working hours have been varied to be from 11am – 3pm. This allows staff to utilise public transport outside of peak times. Staff can take meal breaks anytime between 11am and 2pm.


As many deliveries of goods and services to the Library as possible are administered without physical contact.

Education programs

The Library’s Learning programs operate under the prevailing NSW Government guidelines on Schools and Childcare. 

Hygiene and cleaning

Face masks

Face masks are to be worn by staff and visitors at all times when in the public areas of the Library, unless they are exempted.  In the non-public areas of the Library, masks must be worn by staff whenever they are away from their work station.  Provided adequate physical distancing can be maintained, staff in the non-public areas of the Library may remove their mask when seated at a work bench / desk (or working alone in a stack).

Disposable masks will be provided to any member of staff or visitor who is without one.

Perspex barriers have been installed on the service desks in the Library’s foyers and reading rooms.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene is promoted to all Library staff, readers and visitors through signage, online communications and by Library staff.  Hand sanitiser units and antibacterial wipe dispenser have been deployed throughout the Library.

Washing hands before handling

All Library readers are encouraged to wash their hands before handling Library materials and equipment.

Returned items

All staff wash their hands thoroughly before and after handling returned library materials.


Bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap, paper towel dispensers and/or hot air hand driers, as well as instructions on how to wash hands properly.


Frequently touched areas and surfaces are cleaned several times per day with disinfectant solution including library computers, elevator buttons, handrails, tables, countertops, doorknobs, sinks, and staff-room facilities.  All public areas are cleaned at least daily.

Plans are in place with cleaning contractors should – part of or all – the Library be required to be closed for deep cleaning following notification that a person with COVID-19 visited the premises.

Record keeping

Records of visitors

The Library uses Service NSW’s check-in system to record the details.  All people entering the Library, including staff and contractors are required to check-in using the NSW Government QR code system.  Signage for the Service NSW’s check-in tool are clearly visible and accessible including at the entrances to the premises.  Security staff will be checking phones for the green tick to confirm visitors and readers have checked in (keeping 1.5m physical distance between security staff and visitors).

Where a person is unable to provide contact details, for example due to age or language barriers, another person may provide contact details on their behalf. If it is not possible for check-in to occur, keep a record of the name, contact number and kept for a period of at least 28 days and will be provided to NSW Health in electronic form within 4 hours on request.

Records of the entry of staff, regular contractors and volunteers are captured by the Library’s security system and can be provided to NSW Health to effectively notify people should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Library at the time they attended. Security records will be provided as soon as possible, but within 4 hours, upon request from an authorised officer.

Privacy of records

Details collected from staff, contractors and visitors are administered by Service NSW are solely used for the purposes of contact tracing. They are stored securely and confidentially for 28 days when they are erased.

COVIDSafe app

A link to the Australian Government’s Health site with details for the COVIDSafe app is provided to all staff through the Intranet.

COVIDSafe business registration

The State Library of NSW has registered as a NSW COVIDSafe Business.

Cooperation with NSW Health

Should a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19 attend the Library, the Library will fully co-operate with NSW Health and notify SafeWork NSW.


  • Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the overall implementation of this Plan
  • Governance and Risk Specialist is responsible for monitoring current NSW Health advice and amendments to Public Health Orders to update the plan accordingly
  • All Library Staff and volunteers are responsible for following the requirements of this Plan