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Restrictions for Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong

Rules and restrictions that apply to the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains and Northern Beaches), the Central Coast and Wollongong to protect the community from COVID-19.

Update on restrictions

27 January 2021

Following the announcement by the Premier on 27 January 2021, restrictions will be changing across the Greater Sydney region from Friday 29 January 2021.

The changes will affect the number of visitors allowed at a residence, outdoor gatherings and capacity limits at weddings, funerals and some venues. There are also changes to the requirements for wearing a face mask.

Read the latest update on COVID-19 restrictions.

On this page

Stay safe and follow the rules

Stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Get tested even if you have the mildest of symptoms.

Read our common questions about the rules.

Visitors allowed at a residence and outdoor gatherings

Up to 5 visitors from any number of households may visit another household on any day. The total number of visitors includes adults and children. (A member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor.)

No more than 30 people can gather outside in a public place which includes public parks, reserves, beaches, public gardens and spaces. 

Find out more about the rules below.

Up to 5 visitors from any number of households may visit another on any day. The total number of visitors includes adults and children. (A member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor.)

  • If you are over 70 or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should limit the number of visitors and take care at all times.  
  • An overnight stay as part of a visit to someone’s house is allowed.

If there are more than 5 visitors at a home, every person will be held individually responsible for a breach of the public health order.

Strata buildings

Visit NSW Fair Trading for information for people living and working in strata and community schemes.

People who are not counted as visitors

Under the public health orders, people working for the occupier of the premises or assisting in an emergency situation at your home will not be counted as visitors.  

A COVID-19 Safety Plan is required by real estate agents to allow people to view or inspect a home to buy or rent it or to attend an auction. People attending a home for this purpose will not be counted as visitors.

People who are at higher risk

People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection include:

  • people aged 70 years and over
  • people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • people with a compromised immune system
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions.

If you are in one of these groups, follow the guidance for vulnerable people.

Visiting aged care facilities

Find out more about visiting residential aged care facilities.

No more than 30 people can gather outside in a public place which includes public parks, reserves, beaches, public gardens and spaces. 

The maximum of 30 people does not apply to

Under the public health order

  • people attending to assist in an emergency do not count towards the limit
  • a public gathering means a meeting or assembly of persons for a common purpose in a public place.

The maximum number of people that can attend a controlled outdoor event is subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule up to:

  • 500 people if people are assigned to a seating area; or
  • 2,000 people if the people are each assigned to a specific seat.

The event may be held in a public place that

  • is enclosed by fencing or another form of barrier
  • can be accessed only with a ticket.

The gathering must not last longer than 5 hours.

The organiser must have and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan, and electronic entry recording is compulsory.

Face masks

A face mask (fitted face covering) is mandatory in the following indoor settings:

  • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
  • public and community transport
  • indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
  • places of public worship
  • hair and beauty premises
  • tattoo parlours
  • massage parlours
  • betting agencies
  • gaming areas in licensed premises
  • visiting residential aged care facilities.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in

  • hospitality venues (for staff who have a customer-facing role).

Under the public health order, a "fitted face covering" means a mask or other covering that

  • fits securely around the face, and
  • is designed or made to be worn over the nose and mouth to provide the wearer with protection against infection.

From Tuesday 12 January 2021, masks must be worn

  • in indoor areas of NSW airports, including passenger waiting areas 
  • during a flight, when the plane is  
    • landing at or taking off from the airport or 
    • flying in NSW airspace

You may be fined $200 on the spot for not wearing a face mask.

There are also penalties for hospitality venue operators who fail to ensure their staff wear masks as required.

If you are the operator of a hospitality business you are responsible for making sure all staff are wearing face masks unless they have an exemption.

The fines for not complying with these rules are

  • $1,000 for an individual who owns or runs a business and
  • $5,000 for a corporate operator.

Children aged 12 and under, are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.

People who enter or work in the following premises will be required to wear a mask:

  • retail premises or business premises that provide goods or services to members of the public who attend the premises, including
    • supermarkets
    • shopping centres, but not a recreation facility (indoor) in a shopping centre
    • bank branches
    • post offices
    • Service NSW centres
    • hairdressing salons
    • nail salons
    • beauty salons
    • tanning salons
    • waxing salons
    • spas
    • tattoo parlours
    • massage parlours
    • betting agencies
    • gaming lounges
  • entertainment facilities
  • gaming areas in licensed premises (including casinos)
  • premises, including places of public worship, being used for public worship or religious services
  • residential aged care facilities (rule applies to visitors, not residents).

Health services: premises that are used for the purpose of providing health services are not retail premises or business premises.

You must wear a mask on public transport or when you are in a vehicle or vessel being used to provide a public transport service, including a taxi or a rideshare service.

You must also wear a mask when you are at a public transport waiting area which includes:

  • the station area and platform of a passenger railway or light rail station
  • a ferry wharf
  • a bus stop or light rail stop, including any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at the stop
  • a taxi rank, including any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at a taxi rank.

You may be fined $200 on the spot for not wearing a face mask.

Children aged 12 and under are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable. 

From Tuesday 12 January 2021, you must wear a face mask when

  • indoors at a NSW airport, including the passenger waiting area and
  • during a domestic commercial flight when it is  
    • landing or taking off from a NSW airport or  
    • flying in NSW airspace. 

Removal of masks by flight crew and airport workers 

Members of the flight crew and airport workers may remove their face mask when they are

  • not interacting directly with passengers or
  • when they are on an aircraft without any passengers onboard.

Airport workers includes

  • engineers and technical staff
  • cleaners
  • baggage handlers
  • people delivering or removing food and other items in connection
  • with an aircraft
  • airline employees
  • law enforcement and border security officers.

The public health order includes a number of excuses for not wearing or removing a mask under certain circumstances.

You are not required to wear a mask if you

  • are a child aged 12 or under
  • have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable (for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma).

You may remove your mask when you are

  • eating or drinking
  • communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • at work and the nature of your work 
    • makes wearing a face mask a risk to your or another person’s health and safety
    • means clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
  • asked to remove your mask for identity purposes.

You may also remove your mask

  • because of an emergency
  • for the proper provision of goods or services, for example, if you are having a facial or beard trim.

All religious services

  • The person leading the wedding, funeral or other religious service does not need to wear a mask. This is because they need to be clearly understood by congregants.
  • The congregation needs to wear masks indoors, unless exempt.
  • The congregation must not exceed one person per 4 square metres of publicly accessible space.

Weddings

  • During a wedding service, the person leading the service does not need to wear a mask, nor does the wedding party. This includes the wedding couple whilst they say their vows.
  • If a wedding occurs in a place of worship as part of a religious service, attendees at the service need to wear a mask indoors, unless exempt.
  • Up to a maximum of 100 people can attend a wedding.

Funerals

  • The person leading the funeral service does not need to wear a mask, nor does anybody while delivering a eulogy or similar as part of the funeral service.
  • Attendees at the service need to be wearing a mask indoors, unless exempt.
  • Up to a maximum of 100 people can attend a funeral.

Music performances during religious services, weddings and funerals

  • Where music performance is part of a service (religious, weddings or funerals), masks do not need to be worn by the performer if impractical for the performance such as wind instruments or singing.

Singing and chanting advice

  • No more than 5 performers should sing indoors, with 1.5 metres between performers and 5 metres between performers and the audience.
  • In indoor areas, audience members and congregants should not participate in singing or chanting.

Weddings, funerals and religious services

A maximum of 100 people may attend a wedding (or a gathering after the service) subject to the

You must complete and register a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your event.

People attending will be required to provide their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Only the wedding party, to a maximum of 20 persons, is permitted on a dancefloor. There cannot be rotation of people on the dancefloor beyond this wedding party.

Weddings held in a home in the Greater Sydney region are restricted to 5 visitors.

Face masks

  • During a wedding service, the person leading the service does not need to wear a mask, nor does the wedding party. This includes the wedding couple whilst they say their vows.
  • If a wedding occurs in a place of worship as part of a religious service, attendees at the service need to wear a mask indoors, unless exempt.

A maximum of 100 people may attend a funeral or memorial service (or a gathering after the service) subject to the

Places of public worship, funeral homes and crematoria must be registered as a COVID Safe business.

People attending the service will be required to supply their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Face masks

  • The person leading the funeral service does not need to wear a mask, nor does anybody while delivering a eulogy or similar as part of the funeral service.
  • Attendees at the service need to be wearing a mask indoors, unless exempt.

Read common questions about attending funerals, memorial services and wakes.

  • Places of public worship may have a maximum of 100 people, subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule
  • Where a place of public worship has more than one separate area, each area may have a maximum of 100 people, subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule.
  • A religious service in an indoor area other than a place of public worship may also have a maximum of 100 people, subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule.  
  • An outdoor religious service is subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule.  
  • The venue must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and be registered as a COVID Safe venue to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your church, meeting house, mosque, synagogue, temple or another place of worship to help your community connect safely.

For religious services held at a location other than a place of public worship, the principal organiser is responsible for developing and complying with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Services can also be streamed or recorded to enable people to engage in worship.

See the advice for services involving singing and musical performances.

People attending a religious service will be required to provide their name and contact details when they enter so that they can be used for contact tracing. 

Face masks

  • The person leading the wedding, funeral or other religious service does not need to wear a mask.
  • This is because they need to be clearly understood by congregants.
  • The congregation needs to wear masks indoors, unless exempt.

Hospitality venues, events and musical activities

Venue operators must generally ensure there are at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises or in the area, as applicable.

Businesses that prepare and serve food and drink to customers on the premises or for takeaway need to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for their venue type.

A maximum of 300 people, subject to the 1 person per 4 square metres rule applies for each separate area of a  hospitality venue.

It is mandatory for staff who deal directly with the public to wear a face mask in hospitality venues, including any part of premises licensed under the Liquor Act 2007 that is used primarily for the purposes of gaming.

The operator of the hospitality venue is responsible for ensuring all staff working at the venue who deal directly with the public, comply with this rule.

Check the COVID-19 Safety Plan for your venue for more information.

Penalties apply to venues found to breach the public health order rules.

A nightclub is defined as any premises that is the subject of an on-premises licence in force under the Liquor Act 2007 that relates to a public entertainment venue (other than a cinema or theatre).

Nightclubs must close. Premises may not be used for the purpose of a nightclub. 

A function centre is a building or place used for holding events, functions, conferences, and includes convention centres, exhibition centres and reception centres. Function centre operators must complete and register a COVID Safety Plan.

If a trade show or exhibition is held in a function centre and open to the public, the maximum capacity is one person per 2 square metres outdoors or one person per 4 square metres in indoor areas.

No more than 5 performers should sing indoors, with 1.5m between performers and 5m between performers and the audience. The audience should not participate in singing or chanting indoors.

There should be no dancefloors.

  • Under the public health order, an entertainment facility means a theatre, cinema, music hall, concert hall, dance hall and the like, but does not include a pub or registered club.

Events must be ticketed with ticketholders assigned to specific seats for the 75% indoor and 100% outdoor capacity calculation to be used.

Outdoor entertainment facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and can: 

Indoor entertainment facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and can: 

Group singing and chanting remains a high-risk activity for transmission should someone involved be infected.

  • No more than 5 performers should sing indoors, with 1.5m between performers and 5m between performers and the audience. 

  • In indoor areas, audience members and congregants should not participate in singing or chanting.

  • In outdoor areas, if the event is one where the audience or congregation are likely to participate in singing or chanting, such as religious services, audience members and congregants older than 12 years should wear a face mask.

  • There should be no dancefloors, except for weddings where the wedding party to a maximum of 20 are permitted.

To minimise infection risk:

  • all singers should face forwards and not towards each other 
  • maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres between each other and any other performers, and
  • keep 5 metres distancing from all other people including the audience and conductor.

You may also need a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your event or venue.

Face masks

No more than 5 performers should sing indoors, with 1.5 metres between performers and 5 metres between performers and the audience.

In indoor areas, audience members and congregants should not participate in singing or chanting. 

Players of non-reeded woodwind instruments (such as flutes and recorders) should maintain

  • a physical distance of 3 metres from others in the direction of airflow, and
  • 1.5 metres in all other directions.

Players of all other musical instruments (including reeded woodwind instruments) should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres between each other and the audience/conductor.

Ensembles and other musical groups should rehearse and perform outdoors or in large, well-ventilated indoor spaces.

Face masks

  • Where music performance is part of a service (religious, weddings or funerals), masks do not need to be worn by the performer if impractical for the performance such as wind instruments or singing.

Performances and rehearsals of performing arts can be held outdoors with a maximum of 500 people, subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule.

The person principally responsible for organising the rehearsal or performance should develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

All participants should provide their contact details (name and phone number or email) where practicable.

In outdoor areas, audience members older than 12 years should wear masks if singing or chanting.

Outdoor performances and rehearsals held at venues where the occupier is otherwise required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan (e.g. entertainment facilities, major recreation facilities and zoos), may have more than 3000 people subject to the restrictions at those venues.

Fitness, sport and recreation

Gyms must be registered as COVID Safe and have a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal present when there are more than 25 people using the gym at the same time.

The gym COVID Safety Plan applies to any gym that is an indoor recreation facility open to members of the public. This includes gyms that are in a hotel or workplace.

Indoor gyms are subject to the one person per 4 square metres rule.

A maximum of 30 people per class applies to gym and recreation classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates. 

If a gym is not open to members of the public – such as a gym in residential premises, a home or an apartment building – these requirements do not apply.

A gym does not include a studio for dance, yoga, pilates, gymnastics or martial arts.

See the COVID-19 Safety Plans that apply to

Community sporting activities are allowed, including training sessions and contact activities.

For community sporting activities that involve more than 100 participants, the organiser must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for community sporting competitions and full training activities.

  • Participants include players, people who are training, officials and spectators.
  • More than one parent may attend community sporting activities if physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained between people that are not from the same household.
  • The maximum number of participants at a community sporting activity must not exceed 3000 participants, or one person per 2 square metres (whichever is less).
  • Record keeping for attendees must take place for all community sporting activities of more than 100 people where this is practical.

Learn more about minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission when participating in community sports as a player or spectator.

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. 

Major recreation facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Indoor facilities: the maximum number of people at an indoor major recreation facility is the greater of

  • 75% of the fixed seating capacity and
  • one person per 4 square metres of space.

Outdoor facilities: the maximum number of people at an outdoor major recreation facility is the greater of 

  • the total of 100% of the fixed seating capacity of the recreation facility and one person per 2 square metres of any unfixed seating areas and
  • one person per 2 square metres of outdoor space in the facility.

Ticketing: 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 or seating area.

Under public health orders, the ‘occupier of premises’ includes the operator of a vehicle or vessel.

For boat owners, this means the number of people you can have on your boat is restricted as follows.

On your vessel, you can have 25 people or one person per 2 square metres whichever is the greater.

Operators of commercial vessels must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Travel and holidays

There are no restrictions around travelling to or from regional or rural NSW, or other areas of NSW.

However, NSW Health currently recommends practicing COVID safe behaviours such as physical distancing and hand hygiene when travelling within NSW, especially between Greater Sydney and regional and rural areas.

People should get tested immediately if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild. See NSW Health guidance for holiday makers.

Learn more about rules and restrictions for:

For a holiday home or short-term rental

  • the square metres rules do not apply
  • up to 10 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental. 

However, for premises that had already been rented out to more than 10 people before Monday 21 December, the people can continue to stay there.

If you are visiting a national park camping ground you must book ahead.

For more information on rules and restrictions:

If you are arriving in NSW, see the latest information on 

International travellers arriving in NSW will be charged for their hotel quarantine accommodation.

See the latest information on quarantine arrangements for travellers arriving in NSW from New Zealand.

Learn more about

Current restrictions on businesses

Check the COVID-19 Safety Plan that applies to your business for guidance on

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. 

Working from home

From Monday 14 December 2020 the requirement for an employer to allow an employee to work from home if it is reasonably practicable to do so no longer applies.

See the guidance for employees and for employers.
 

Map of Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong

Areas affected

The restrictions apply to all of the suburbs covered by these Local Government Areas in Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong area.

Visit the Office of Local Government website to find the local council for your suburb.

  • Bayside
  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Canada Bay
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury
  • The Hills Shire
  • Hornsby
  • Hunter's Hill
  • Inner West
  • Ku–ring–gai
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Randwick
  • Ryde
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland Shire
  • Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Willoughby
  • Wollondilly
  • Wollongong
  • Woollahra

 

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