Regional and rural areas with limited restrictions
Rules and restrictions for some areas of regional and rural NSW.
From 12.01am on 11 September, some restrictions will be lifted if you do not live in any of the areas listed below.
Stay-at-home orders will remain in place in the following local government areas – Bathurst Regional, Bourke, Brewarrina, City of Broken Hill, Central Coast, Central Darling, City of Cessnock, Dubbo Regional, Eurobodalla, Gilgandra, Goulburn Mulwarre, Kiama, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Lithgow, City of Maitland, Mid-Western Regional, Narromine, City of Newcastle, City of Orange, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional, City of Shellharbour, City of Shoalhaven, Walgett and Wingecarribee.
From 5 pm on 21 September 2021 stay-at-home rules are in place for the local government areas of Byron, Kempsey and Tweed until Wednesday 29 September 2021.
From 5 pm on 20 September 2021 stay-at-home rules are in place for the local government area of Cowra until Tuesday 28 September 2021.
From 6 pm on 17 September 2021, stay-at-home restrictions are in place for the local government areas of Glen Innes and Hilltops until 24 September 2021.
From 6pm on 16 September 2021, stay-at-home restrictions are in place for the local government areas of Albury and Lismore, until 23 September 2021.
From 12.01am on 14 September 2021 stay-at-home restrictions have been reinstated for the local government area of Yass Valley until 28 September 2021.
Do not travel to stay-at-home areas without a reasonable excuse
If you live in a regional or rural area that is not subject to stay-at-home restrictions, you can travel to other areas that are not under stay-at-home restrictions.
However, you must have a reasonable excuse to enter a stay-at-home area (including Greater Sydney and regional stay-at-home 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.
This means that you will need to stay at your place of residence for 14 days, even if it is in a regional area that is not subject to stay-at-home restrictions, unless you have a reasonable excuse.
You can travel into a stay-at-home area to go to a medical appointment or get vaccinated if you:
- Travel by private vehicle
- Travel alone or with one other person who must also follow these rules
- Travel using the most direct route practical
- Do not stay overnight
- Do not enter other premises other than the one where you have a medical appointment or are getting vaccination.
You can enter a stay-at-home area to buy groceries that you can't get within your area.
Travelling through a stay-at-home area without stopping
You can travel through a stay-at-home area as long as you don’t stop at any venues.
Map: Regional and rural NSW
The map below shows the local government areas where the rules on this page apply.
Summary of restrictions
At your home
You can have up to 5 visitors in your home at any one time.
This limit does not include children 12 and under.
You can visit retail stores, beauticians and hair salons while following the one person per 4 square metre rule.
Schools will reopen. Follow the COVID-19 safety measures for schools in NSW.
Work from home if you are able to.
If you cannot work from home, you must wear a face mask.
Get a COVID-19 test if you
Visitors allowed at a residence
You can have up to 5 visitors to your household at any one time. A member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor.
- There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you do not have more than 5 visitors at any one time.
- An overnight stay as part of a visit to someone’s house is allowed.
As a host, it is your responsibility to ensure that no more than 5 people visit your household at any one time.
People who are not counted as visitors
Under the public health orders, there are a number of people who do not count as visitors to your home. These are people who are:
- members of your household
- aged 12 years or under
- working at your home
- assisting in an emergency situation
- providing care to children or vulnerable persons
- giving effect to arrangements for spending time with and providing contact between parents and children under 18 or between siblings
- helping a person move to or from the place of residence, or
- viewing or inspecting a property for sale or lease or participating in an auction.
Gyms and indoor recreational facilities
Gyms and indoor recreation facilities need to comply with the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.
A 20-person limit applies to classes or activities at a gym.
Dance classes, or any other activities such as a yoga class, also have a limit of 20 people.
If you are participating in a dance class, gym class, or similar activity, you must wear a face mask.
Working from home
Employers must allow an employee to work from home if the employee is reasonably able to do so.
If you cannot work from home and you go to your workplace that is allowed to be open, you must wear a face mask (unless an exemption applies).
If you cannot work from home and you go to your workplace, follow the rules for wearing a face mask.
Weddings and funerals
Wedding, funerals and memorial services can be held.
The maximum number of people that can attend is the lesser of:
- 1 person per 4 square metres or
- 50 people.
At weddings, dancing is allowed for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).
You must wear a face mask when you are indoors at non-residential premises and in certain outdoor areas.
These include places such as:
- an indoor workplace, such as an office
- public transport waiting areas
- a gym class, dance class or group activity of 5 or more people.
You do not need to wear a face mask when you are:
- eat or drinking
- doing strenuous exercise
- communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing
- at a school as a student
- engaging in some types of work where you need to see a person’s mouth
- requested to remove your face mask as a part of a security check
- at a correctional centre, place of custody, or hospital as a patient
- a resident at an aged care facility
- a guest in a hotel/motel room and in your room
- in the process of getting married
- working alone in an office (until another person enters)
- in a vehicle alone or with another person from your household.
Capacity limits in some areas of regional and rural NSW
If your premises has a COVID-19 Safety Plan, you may have the greater up to:
at your premises.
These capacity limits do not apply to your home, major recreation facilities (such as stadiums), entertainment facilities (such as cinemas) commercial activities on vessels, caravan parks and campgrounds, holiday homes and short-term rentals, hairdressers, spas, nail, beauty, tanning and waxing salons, tattoo parlours and massage parlours, and other exempted gatherings.
When calculating the capacity of your premises:
- only include the areas of your premises that are open to the public
- do not include your staff, people attending an emergency, or people who are on the premises to collect take away food in your calculations.
Hospitality venues and service of alcohol
You can visit hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants and pubs.
You must be seated when consuming alcohol in an indoor area of hospitality venues.
If you are an event organiser or venue manager, refer to the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Theatres, cinemas, music and concert halls
The maximum number of persons at these venues in Greater Sydney is the greater of
- 75% of the seating capacity, or
- one person per 4 square metres.
If you are relying on a percentage of the seating capacity, you must ensure that each person has a ticket and is allocated a specific seat.
You must wear a face mask when attending outdoor seated events.
The maximum number of people allowed at the following outdoor gatherings are as follows:
- 500 people for a controlled outdoor public gathering.
- A controlled outdoor public gathering is a gathering that:
- is enclosed or bounded by a fence or barrier
- can only be accessed by way of a ticket
- at which all people (other than staff) are assigned to a specific seat or seating area.
- 50 people for a COVID-19 safe outdoor public gathering.
- A COVID-19 safe outdoor public gathering is a gathering for which:
- a COVID-19 Safety Plan has been developed and is complied with; a copy of the plan is kept at the premises where the event is held; and, the plan is made available for inspection by an authorised officer or police officer.
- 20 people for any other outdoor public gathering.
This would include, for example, gatherings for exercise or outdoor recreation.
Any specific restrictions that apply to a premises at which any of the above gatherings is held also need to be complied with.
Major recreation facilities: stadiums, showgrounds, theme parks, racecourses and motor racing tracks
The maximum number of persons at these venues is the lesser of:
- one person per 4 square metres or
- 5000 people.
Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is not allowed.
You may only sing in non-residential indoor premises if:
- the singers are performers and they are performing or rehearsing
- the premises are an educational establishment
- it is part of a singing lesson.
- it is at a wedding service or gathering after a wedding service.
Dancing is not allowed at indoor venues such as hospitality venues or nightclubs. Hospitality venues include casinos, food and drink premises, micro-breweries, small bars, pubs, and clubs.
Dancing can take place in group classes at gyms or indoor recreation facilities.
For weddings, dancing is allowed for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).
Holiday homes and holiday rentals
For a holiday home or short-term rental in some parts of regional and rural NSW:
- the square metres rules do not apply
- up to 5 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental (unless those people are from the same household)
- a gathering at a holiday home or holiday rental is limited to 5 visitors.
If you are the occupier of a holiday home or short term rental, it is your responsibility to ensure that no more than 5 people use the holiday home or short term rental at any one time (unless they are from the same household).
As a visitor to a holiday home or short term rental, it is your responsibility to ensure you do not visit a holiday home or short term rental if there are more than 5 visitors there.
Visiting regional and rural NSW from Greater Sydney
If you live in Greater Sydney you must not enter regional and rural NSW without a reasonable excuse.
Please be aware that the Central Coast and Shellharbour local government areas are now part of regional NSW. If you need to leave Greater Sydney to enter either the Central Coast or Shellharbour local government areas then you may need to register for travel.
Travel to regional NSW from Greater Sydney for any of the following reasons is only allowed if you are registered.
If you are:
- an authorised worker from one of the local government areas of concern
- (other than authorised worker (construction workers) who are not eligible for regional travel registration as they are only able to work at a construction site in Greater Sydney)
- inspecting real estate in regional NSW and you genuinely need a home to live in (not an investment property)
- travelling to your second home and you are:
- using the home for work accommodation
- need to undertake urgent maintenance, repairs, or attend to animal welfare (in which case, only one person may travel to the second home).
Current restrictions on businesses
Check the COVID-19 Safety Plan that applies to your business for guidance on:
- whether a COVID-19 Safety Plan is required or recommended for your venue or event
- who is responsible for the COVID-19 Safety Plan
- whether you need to register as a COVID safe venue
- when to apply the one person per 2 square metres rule and one person per 4 square metres rule
- the maximum number of people permitted at specific venues and events.
If changes have been introduced for your industry since you last prepared a COVID-19 Safety Plan, see the latest version for new requirements.
Learn more about electronic recordkeeping if your business or organisation needs to collect customer details.