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Common questions about the rules

FAQs about the updated COVID-19 rules in NSW.

Premier's update on rules and restrictions

6 May 2021

From 5pm, Thursday 6 May to 12:01am Monday 10 May, rules around household visitors, face masks, singing, dancing and restrictions in aged care facilities will be tightened in Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains). 

Read more

Travellers from WA

A concerns notice has been issued which affects travellers who have been Western Australia and are entering or have entered NSW. Read the latest advice for travellers from Western Australia.

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Visitors and gatherings at home

If you have more than 100 visitors to your home, you must 

  • have and comply with a COVID-19 safety plan that addresses the matters set out in the relevant approved COVID-19 safety checklist
  • keep a copy of the COVID-19 safety plan while visitors are at your home and make it available for inspection by an authorised officer or a police officer as requested
  • record each visitor’s details electronically by registering them with Service NSW or with an adult member of your household when they enter
  • keep the contact details for at least 4 weeks and if requested by the Chief Health Officer, provide the records to NSW Health within 4 hours.  

Under the rules

  • the total number of visitors includes adults and children
  • a member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor
  • people working for the occupier of the premises or assisting in an emergency situation at your home will not be counted as visitors.  

If you have more than the maximum visitors allowed at your home, each visitor (not just the members of your household) may be fined for a breach of the public health order.

People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 should follow the guidance for aged care facilities and vulnerable people

You must not visit a person’s home as part of a gathering of more than 100 people unless

  • you provide your contact details electronically to Service NSW or to your host, and
  • your host complies with the rules around COVID-19 safety plans.

Outdoor gatherings

Outdoor public gatherings rules apply to places including

  • picnics, parties and BBQs in public places
  • public parks
  • reserves
  • beaches
  • public gardens and spaces. 

Up to 200 people from different households can gather in an outdoor public place such as a park, reserve, beach, garden or public space.  

For outdoor gatherings of more than 200 people, you must only participate if it is a COVID-19 safe outdoor gathering.

A COVID-19 safe outdoor gathering requires the organiser of the outdoor gathering to:

The organiser of a COVID-19 safe outdoor gathering must ensure that the number of participants in the gathering is the lesser of:

Remember to

If you are unwell, get tested and stay home

The maximum number of people who can participate in a controlled outdoor public gathering is the lesser or

To organise a controlled outdoor public gathering, you must 

  • have and comply with the relevant COVID-19 safety plan 
  • keep a copy of the COVID-19 safety plan and make it available to an authorised officer or a police officer as requested
  • ensure the event is ticketed
  • ensure all persons participating in the gathering (other than employees) are assigned to specific seats or to a seating area.
  • ensure the gathering does not last longer than 5 hours.

Check in to help with contact tracing

Make sure you check-in at the businesses and venues you visit so that if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed to have visited the premises, you will be contacted and advised on what you need to do.

If you visit a home where there are more than 100 guests, your host will need to have a COVID-19 safety plan and you will need to electronically check-in using the Service NSW app.

Find out about electronic check in using a QR code

Your contact details may be registered by QR code or another electronic method that records your name, phone number and email address at the time you entered the premises.

You must provide your contact details ('check in') at 

  • business premises, hospitality and entertainment venues, recreation and tourism facilities 
  • outdoor events including controlled outdoor public gatherings, agricultural shows and agricultural field days
  • significant events, such as a wedding service, funeral or memorial service, or a gathering following these types of events and 
  • a home where there are more than 100 visitors (including a holiday home or short-term rental). 

At a significant event at a place of public worship or entering premises for a religious service you can check-in

  • electronically by registering through the Service NSW app using your mobile phone or another device at the time of entry or
  • by providing your details directly to the occupier of premises.

At a hospitality venue or a hairdresser, you can check in electronically by registering through the Service NSW app using your mobile phone or another device at the time of entry.

At any other premises where you need to check-in, you can do this 

  • electronically by registering through the Service NSW app using your mobile phone or another device at the time of entry, or
  • by providing your details directly to the occupier of premises.

Learn more about where and when you must check-in.

If you are having problems checking in or there is an internet outage, you can provide your details to the venue operator or event organiser, and they must register your contact details within 12 hours.

If you are having problems checking in because of age, disability or language issues, someone else can register your attendance at the venue or event.

If you are responsible for collecting contact details you must

  • keep a record of the contact details for at least 4 weeks
  • provide the records to the Chief Health Officer as soon as possible if requested (but no later than 4 hours after the request is made)
  • ensure that a person is responsible for recording contact details and authorised to provide the records to the Chief Health Officer.

Travel, holidays and holiday rentals

Rules and restrictions may change quickly if a hotspot, concerns notice, or area of concern is identified or issued. 

Check the latest information about a location before you travel and comply with any rules that apply

  • to the places you travel through including roads, bus terminals, train stations and airports
  • when you are travelling
  • at your destination
  • to people entering your home location when you return from the place you have visited. 

If you become unwell you should get tested for COVID-19 and cancel or defer your travel plans until you receive a negative test result.

When travelling, try to maintain physical distancing wherever practical.

For NSW, check current COVID-19 case locations.

Check the government website for your destination to get the latest health advice and information on any rules and restrictions that may apply in that state.

Check the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website before you travel to a national park.

The website has current alerts and information on any restrictions in place to keep visitors safe. 

The Jervis Bay Territory is a Commonwealth administered territory, occupying the Bherwerre Peninsula, and forming the southern boundary of Jervis Bay. 

If you are planning to go to Jervis Bay

For information on border arrangements to protect Australia against COVID-19 visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

You may use your premises for the purpose of a holiday home or a short-term rental for up to 100 people at one time.  

If you use your premises for the purpose of a holiday home or short-term rental you can have a gathering of more than 100 people if you:

  • have and comply with a COVID-19 safety plan
  • keep a copy of the COVID-19 safety plan while the gathering occurs at the premises and make it available to an authorised officer or a police officer as requested
  • ensure each person provides their contact details by electronically registering them with Service NSW at the time of entry
  • keep the contact details for at least 4 weeks, if contact details are provided to you directly.

Visitors must not attend a holiday home or short-term rental for a gathering unless the premises complies with the above rules. 

On Lord Howe Island, specific rules apply if you own or operate a short-term rental property or tourist and visitor accommodation.

You must

Aged care, seniors and vulnerable people

Aged care residents are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and are more vulnerable to serious complications if they do become infected.

Read more about

While there are no specific COVID-19 restrictions for seniors, NSW Health advises that people over 70 or those with a pre-existing condition are at greater risk of more severe symptoms if they are infected with COVID-19.

To learn more, read our COVID-19

Weddings, funerals and memorial services

The event organiser or venue operator must have and comply with a COVID-19 safety plan for weddings to address the requirements including

  • venue capacity – square metres rules that apply
  • attendance of seniors and vulnerable people.
  • registration of staff and guests for the purpose of contact tracing
  • safe handling of guestbooks, programs, booklets and donations
  • service of food and drink
  • live music, singing and dancing.

The event organiser must

  • keep a copy of the COVID-19 safety plan while the event occurs at the premises, and
  • make it available to an authorised officer or a police officer as requested.

The event organiser or venue operator must have and comply with a COVID-19 safety plan for a funeral, memorial service or wake to address the requirements including

  • venue capacity – square metres rules that apply
  • attendance of seniors and vulnerable people
  • registration of staff and guests for the purpose of contact tracing
  • safe handling of guestbooks, programs, booklets and donations
  • performance of live music and singing
  • service of food and drink. 

The event organiser must

  • keep a copy of the COVID-19 safety plan while the event occurs at the premises, and
  • make it available to an authorised officer or a police officer as requested

Australia has strict border measures in place and there are very limited flights available to and from Australia.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website to find out more about the restrictions on people coming from overseas.

Businesses, gyms, hospitality venues, nightclubs, entertainment and recreation facilities

COVID-19 safety plans have been updated to the new rules.

Occupiers of premises (such as business owners or venue operators) must generally follow the square metre rule, which allows for one person per 2 square metres or 25 people, whichever is the greater.

Learn more about approved

Businesses that prepare and serve food and drink to customers on the premises or for takeaway need to

Nightclubs may open and operators must

Under the public health order

  • a major recreation facility means a building or place used for large-scale sporting or recreation activities that are attended by large numbers of people whether regularly or periodically, and includes theme parks, sports stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses and motor racing tracks
  • an indoor recreation facility means a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including a squash court, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, table tennis centre, health studio, bowling alley, ice rink or similar
  • an entertainment facility means a theatre, cinema, music hall, concert hall, dance hall or similar, but does not include a pub or registered club.

Entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities must

For indoor major recreation facilities and entertainment facilities

  • the maximum number of people allowed is the greater of 100% of the fixed seating capacity or one person per 2 square metres of space.

For outdoor major recreation facilities the maximum number of people allowed is the greater of

  • the total of 100% of the fixed seating capacity plus one person per 2 square metres of any unfixed seating areas, or
  • one person per 2 square metres of space in the facility.

If the maximum number of people is based on the percentage of the fixed seating capacity, admission is only by ticket for a specific seat.
 

 

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