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What you can and can't do under the rules

Follow the rules and stay safe whether you are working, visiting family and friends, or going out.

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What has changed

31 July 2020

Under the amended public health order for gatherings and movement

Find out how many people can

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Follow the rules and keep our community safe

At this critical time, it's important that we all

Hospitality venues

Venues such as cafes, restaurants, food and drink premises, micro-breweries, cellar doors, casinos, registered clubs, small bars and casinos must comply with the same restrictions that are in place for pubs.

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

  • Maximum of 10 people per booking or per table.
  • Maximum of 10 people on a group entering or being on the premises.
  • Alcohol can only be consumed by seated customers.
  • Maximum of 300 people in the venue at any one time or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.
  • For venues that consist of separate areas, the maximum capacity is 300 people in the separate area at any one time or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.

  • To be a ‘separate area’, the area must:
    • be separate from other areas on the premises
    • if food and drink services are being provided in the area, have staff that are providing food and drink service only in that area
    • not allow persons gathering in different separate areas of the venue to mingle.

  • Venues must assign one staff member as a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal who will be in distinctive clothing (eg shirt or badge) and responsible for ensuring all aspects of the COVID-19 Safety Plan are being adhered to including overseeing social distancing, cleaning and ensuring the accuracy of record keeping. 
  • Large hospitality venues with a capacity of more than 250 people must have a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal on duty whenever the venue is open.
  • Smaller hospitality venues with a capacity of less than 250 people must have a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal during peak periods, and at least during lunch from 12pm to 3pm, and dinner from 5pm to 9pm.

  • All customers (unless only collecting takeaway) must sign-in by providing accurate contact details (name and phone number or email address) and their time of entry.
  • The COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal should ensure the accuracy and legibility of records.
  • Paper sign-in is permitted, however hospitality venues must create a digital record of customer contact details within 24 hours and provide it immediately if requested.  
  • QR code sign-in is strongly encouraged.

  • Move or remove tables and seating to support 1.5 metres of physical distance where possible.
  • Reduce crowding and promote physical distancing with markers on the floor where people are asked to queue, such as at a bar.

From Saturday 25 July, all cafes, restaurants, food and drink premises, micro-breweries, cellar doors, small bars, clubs and casinos must ensure they are registered as a COVID-19 Safe Business . Pubs should already be registered as a COVID Safe Business.

Any business found in breach of the Public Health Orders could face a penalty of up to $55,000 and a further $27,500 penalty may apply for each day an offence continues. On-the-spot fines can also be issued.

Visiting family and friends at home

  • Up to 20 visitors may visit another household at any one time. The total number of visitors includes adults and children.
  • There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you don’t have more than 20 visitors at any one time.
  • 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.  
  • You can have guests from any household so long as it does not exceed 20 visitors in total. 
  • An overnight stay as part of a visit to someone’s house is allowed.
  • Some people who need to attend your home will not be counted as visitors if they are at your home to 
    • provide a service, care or assistance or for compassionate reasons 

    • fulfil contact arrangements between parents and children under the age of 18 or between siblings 

    • help a member of the household to move in or out of the home 

    • avoid an injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm 

    • assist in an emergency situation.  

As the home is a high transmission area, the NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends a COVID-Safe precautionary approach of having no more than 10 visitors at a time. 

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.

Corporate events 

A corporate event is an event, hospitality or social activity organised, held or funded by a business or other organisation for staff, clients or stakeholders and held at a function centre. 

The maximum number of people who can attend a corporate event cannot exceed 150 people or the one customer per 4 square metre rule, whichever is the lesser.

Holiday homes and holiday rentals

  • There are no limitations on people who live in NSW travelling within NSW. 
  • Up to 20 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental. More than 20 people can stay in a holiday home or holiday rental if they are all members of the same household.

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

Learn more about 

Outdoor public gatherings

  • No more than 20 people are allowed to gather outside in a public place. 

Community sports, gyms, fitness classes and major recreation facilities

Community sporting activities, including training sessions and contact activities, may recommence.

  • A maximum of 20 people per class applies to gym and recreation classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates.
  • For community sporting activities that involve more than 20 participants, the organiser must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    • Participants include players, people who are training, officials and spectators.
    • The maximum number of participants at a community sporting activity must not exceed 500 participants.
    • Record keeping for spectators must take place for all ticketed community sporting activities.
  • Martial arts training and competition activities that are not sanctioned by the Combat Sports Authority are permitted to take place.
  • Major recreation facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and are permitted to have up to 25% of normal capacity of the venue or 10,000 persons (whichever is lesser) when admission to the premises is by way of a ticket and each person has been assigned to a seating area.

Gyms

  • Gyms must have a COVID-19 Safety Hygiene Marshal present at all times the gym is open and be registered as COVID Safe.
    • This applies to gyms that are indoors and open to members of the public.
    • A gym does not include a dance, yoga, pilates, gymnastics or martial arts studio.

  • If a gym is not open to members of the public, the COVID Safe requirements do not apply. This exemption applies to gyms in hotels, workplaces and residential premises (such as a home or an apartment building).

For sport and recreation businesses

Learn more about COVID-19 Safety Plans for

Funerals, memorial services and wakes

The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral or memorial service or a gathering following a funeral or memorial service, is the lesser of one person per 4 square metres or 100 people. Funerals at outdoor public places or a place of residence are subject to the same limits.

Places of public worship can have up to 100 people subject to the 4 square metre rule and must be registered as a COVID Safe venue. Funeral homes and crematoria must also 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.

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

Religious gatherings and places of worship

The number of people in a public place of worship must not exceed 100 people, subject to the 4 square metre square rule. The maximum applies to the whole of the venue, even where men and women worship in separate areas. The venue must also have a COVID-19 safety plan and be registered as a COVID Safe venue to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.

The maximum number of people at a religious service wherever held must not exceed 100 people, subject to the 4 square metre rule.

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

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.

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.

Weddings

The maximum number of people who may attend a wedding or a gathering following a wedding service cannot be greater than 150 people subject to the 4 square metre rule and registration as a COVID-Safe business.

If the wedding takes place in a place of worship, the number of people attending must not exceed 100 people, subject to the 4 square metre rule.

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

Current restrictions on businesses

All businesses can now open and operate under the one person per 4 square metre rule. Some businesses will be subject to specific restrictions about the maximum number of people permitted at the venue, such as hospitality venues and places of public worship. 

Under the rules, employers must allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practical to do so. 

For some types of businesses, you are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. A COVID-19 Safety plan is recommended for other types of businesses. Find out about developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your business.

Some venues are also required to register as a COVID safe venue. This includes hospitality venues, places of public worship, funeral homes, crematoria and gyms.

Occupiers of the following premises, or the occupier of the premises on which the following events are held, are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Premises or event

Checklist and Safety Plan

Amusement centres

Theme parks and amusement centres

Aquariums

Zoos, reptile parks and aquariums

Business premises that are used for auction houses, other than clearing houses

Auction and open houses

Business premises that are used for betting agencies

Betting agencies

Business premises that are used for nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours Beauty and other services
Caravan parks and camping grounds

Caravan parks and camping grounds

Casinos

Pubs and clubs (including small bars, cellar doors, breweries, casinos, karaoke bars, function centres, and strip clubs)

Community centres

Community centres and halls

Community sporting activities Community sporting
competitions and full training
activities
Corporate events Conferences, functions and corporate events
Crematoria General
Drive-in cinemas

Cinemas, theatres, concert
halls, drive-in cinemas

Entertainment facilities

Cinemas, theatres, concert
halls, drive-in cinemas

Food and drink premises

Restaurants, cafes, food courts

Food courts

Restaurants, cafes, food courts

Function centres Pubs and clubs (including small bars, cellar doors, breweries, casinos, karaoke bars, function centres, and strip clubs)
Funeral homes General
Funerals and memorial services and gathering after funerals and
memorial services
Funerals, memorial services and wakes
Information and education facilities

Libraries

Museums and galleries

Gyms Indoor gyms
Markets

Non-food markets

Micro-breweries, small
distilleries holding a drink on-premises authorisation under the Liquor Act 2007 or
cellar door premises

Pubs and clubs (including small bars, cellar doors, breweries, casinos, karaoke bars, function centres, and strip clubs)

Places of public worship

Places of public worship

Properties operated by the National Trust or the Historic Houses Trust

Museums and galleries

Public indoor swimming pools

Swimming pools

Public outdoor swimming pools

Swimming pools

Pubs, small bars and registered clubs

Pubs, clubs, small bars, breweries, casinos

Recreation facilities (indoor) other than gyms

Indoor recreation facilities (including health and dance studios and martial arts training facilities)

Recreation facilities (major)

Major recreation facilities, stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses

Theme parks and amusement centres

Sex on premises venues, being restricted premises where sex between patrons is permitted on the premises Sex on premises venues
 
Sex services premises

Sex services premises 

Strip clubs

Pubs and clubs (including small bars, cellar doors, breweries, casinos, karaoke bars, function centres, and strip clubs)

Vessels used for hosting functions or for commercial tours

Commercial vessels 

Wedding services and
gatherings after wedding
services
Wedding ceremonies and receptions*
Zoological parks and reptile parks Zoos and reptile parks and acquariums

 

*If a wedding, funeral, gathering following a wedding or funeral, or corporate event is held at a public park, reserve or public garden, the person organising the event or conducting the service is responsible for developing and complying with a COVID-19 safety plan. 

Music festivals and nightclubs

  • Music festivals within the meaning of the Music Festivals Act 2019 and including a music festival attended by fewer than 2000 people are not permitted.
  • Night clubs are currently closed.

Travelling to or entering NSW 

NSW-Victoria border restrictions

The NSW Government has temporarily closed the NSW-Victoria border‬. Under the new public health order, anyone who has been in Victoria within the last 14 days must not enter NSW except in special circumstances. 

Learn more about NSW border restrictions.

Quarantine arrangements for overseas travellers

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

Learn more about the cost of quarantine for international travellers.

Public health orders, record keeping and penalties

To deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 and its possible consequences, the Minister for Health and Medical Research has made a number of orders, under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010:

  • Restrictions on gathering and movement
  • Border control: people who have been in Victoria within the last 14 days
  • Quarantine
  • Self-isolation
  • Residential Aged Care Facilities
  • Spitting and coughing
  • Lord Howe Island

Visit NSW Health public health orders for current orders, amendments and exemptions.

Where a person is required to record contact details under the current public health order, the person must:

  • record and keep the name and contact details (either a phone number or email address) and time of entry of every person including staff, customers (unless only collecting takeaway) and contractors, entering their premises for a period of at least 28 days
  • ensure the information recorded is stored confidentially and securely and only used for the purpose of tracing COVID-19 infections
  • on request, provide the information to the Chief Health Officer as soon as practicable and not later than 12 hours after the request is made.

Breach of orders made under the Public Health Act 2010 is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.

In the case of an individual, the maximum penalty is $11,000, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both and a further $5500 penalty may apply for each day the offence continues. The NSW Police may also issue on-the-spot fines of $1000 for an offence.

In the case of any corporation, the maximum penalty is $55,000 and a further $27,500 penalty may apply for each day the offence continues.

Penalties apply to people who intentionally spit at or cough on 

  • a public official
  • another worker while the worker is at work or travelling to or from work

in a way that would reasonably be likely to cause fear about the spread of COVID-19.

You can report any person failing to follow these rules to Crime Stoppers.

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