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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.

Have symptoms?

Come forward and get tested even if you only have mild symptoms like a cough. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Help keep NSW COVID-19 safe

Practise physical distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep your home and workplace clean.

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Find out what to do if it's not safe for you to stay at home. You can call our Domestic Violence Line anytime on 1800 65 64 63.

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Stay safe

As our community becomes more active and gets back to business, it's important that we

Upcoming changes

From Monday 1 June 2020, the following will be allowed:

Rules that continue to apply include

What has changed

From Friday 15 May, the following is allowed:

  • public gatherings of up to 10 people
  • food and drink premises can open, but only to seat a maximum of 10 customers at any one time – this includes cafes and restaurants, a restaurant within a registered club or pub, or a cellar door that serves food
  • up to 5 visitors may visit another household at any one time
  • weddings can have up to 10 guests plus the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the service, a photographer, a videographer, and the couple
  • indoor funerals and memorial services can have up to 20 mourners and outdoor funerals up to 30 mourners
  • religious gatherings and places of worship can have up to 10 worshippers
  • outdoor playground and exercise equipment can be used with caution
  • outdoor pools can open with restrictions.

Read FAQs on what has changed.

Current restrictions

For businesses that can open, each business owner can make decisions about what makes the most sense for their situation. Employers must allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practical to do so.

You may not currently travel to regional NSW for holiday purposes. Travel and transport limitations remain in place until 1 June.

Accommodation

Short and long term accommodation

Operations are open at:

  • crisis and temporary accommodation
  • disability or aged care facilities
  • hotels, motels or other accommodation
  • youth hostels.

Pubs, registered clubs and casinos

Open for accommodation, dining and selling takeaway food and drink.

  • Food and beverages can be served to guests in their rooms.
  • Cafes, bistros and restaurants can seat up to 10 customers at any one time.
  • Alcohol can only be purchased with food, or to take away.

Caravan parks and camping grounds

Closed to the public, except for

  • people who are permanent residents or overnight travellers
  • persons working in the local area
  • persons who have no other place of permanent residence or whose primary place of residence is temporarily unavailable. 

If you were staying at a caravan park or camping ground before 26 March 2020 under a booking you can continue to stay until the end of that booking. 

If you are visiting someone who is permitted to stay at a caravan park or camping ground, limits apply for

  • up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • public gatherings of up to 10 people
  • cafes and restaurants can seat up to 10 customers at any one time
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • use of outdoor pools with restrictions.

Bars, clubs and pubs – restaurant service

Restaurants and bistros within a bar, registered club or pub may open.

  • A maximum of 10 customers will be allowed to be seated at the one time and physical distancing requirements should be adhered to. The 10 customers are the maximum number allowed at one time, regardless of the size of the venue.
  • Alcohol service can resume only for customers eating at the venue.
  • Takeaway services can operate.
  • Poker machines are still closed to customers.
  • Customers are encouraged to call ahead to reserve tables, rather than gathering out the front of venues to queue.
  • The restaurant 

From Monday 1 June 2020, pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants in NSW will be able to have up to 50 customers on the premises at once.

  • Venues must follow the four square metre rule.
  • All customers need to be seated, and they can be sold liquor without food.
  • Encourage customers to book ahead to avoid queuing.
  • Maximum of 10 customers per booking.

Cafes and restaurants

Dining in

Cafes and restaurants can seat 10 customers at any one time to eat and drink on the premises provided they comply with the 4 square metre rule.

Cafes and restaurants should make provision for physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and practise good hand hygiene.

Takeaway food and drinks

If you buy takeaway food or drink you must leave the premises to consume it.

Education and childcare

Entertainment and community venues

Entertainment and amusement venues

Entertainment and amusement venues that are closed include:

  • gaming lounges
  • cinemas and theatres
  • concert halls, music halls and dance halls
  • amusement centres (for billiards, pool, pinball machines or video games).


Entertainment and amusement venues that may open include;   

Community centres and cultural buildings

Community centres and cultural buildings used to provide information or education to visitors are closed, including:

  • community halls
  • galleries, museums and libraries
  • Historic Houses Trust of NSW properties
  • National Trust properties.

Funerals

Up to 20 mourners may attend a funeral held indoors and up to 30 mourners may attend a funeral held outdoors.

The limit to the number of people who may attend excludes the people necessary to conduct the service such as the funeral director and their staff.

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

Healthcare

Healthcare products and services

If you need healthcare, call ahead if you have any symptoms or are feeling unwell.

You can also access healthcare products and services from healthcare providers such as a

  • chemist
  • doctor
  • hospital or medical centre
  • physiotherapist
  • remedial or therapeutic massage service provider
  • other healthcare provider as listed in the NSW Public Health Act including speech therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture services.

Dental treatment

The Australian Dental Association has provided advice to members on restrictions.

Cosmetic injections

Cosmetic injections provided by a medical practitioner at health premises are permitted for people who require medical care.

Registered health practitioners should consider whether it is safe and appropriate to provide non-urgent treatment at this time, and if they can provide the level of protection necessary for both their staff and clients.

Businesses must

Beauty salons may not provide cosmetic injections or any other services. They may only open to sell products.

Court and tribunals

Proceedings will be conducted without the need for attending where possible.

From Monday 15 June jury trials will resume at some District Court locations.

Corrective services

All social visits to NSW prisons, correctional facilities, youth justice centres and other places of custody have been temporarily suspended.

Community Corrections

Arrangements are in place for people reporting to Community Corrections offices.

Personal services

Salons

Spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons and tanning salons cannot provide services, however they can sell their products. This applies to any business premises, regardless of whether it operates in a retail outlet or in a private home. The 4 square metre rule must also be complied with.

Hairdressers and barbers

The 4 square metre rule applies within the premises and personal contact with the customer should be minimised. Either go to the hairdresser or barber alone or with one other person.

Mobile services

Any business providing mobile services must comply with all relevant laws, including work, health and safety and public health laws, as well as local council and planning requirements. 

Personal services businesses

Massage parlours and tattoo parlours cannot provide services, however they can sell their products. This applies to any business premises, regardless of whether it operates in a retail outlet or in a private home.

Strip clubs and sex services premises are closed.

Real estate and auction houses

Real estate agents and property vendors may hold open house property inspections and on-site auctions.

The following safety measures will help keep customers, property owners and real estate staff safe from the coronavirus.

  • Use digital platforms where possible to remove physical contact.
  • Maintain physical distancing of greater than 1.5 metres between people by
    • limiting the number of people viewing a property and attending an auction
    • managing the number of people entering small spaces
    • considering an extended timeframe for open house viewings and inspections
    • using outdoor venues for auctions wherever possible
    • using large venues for indoor auctions to adhere to the 4 square metre rule.
  • Promote good hygiene on premises and at auctions by
    • making hand sanitiser available
    • ensuring clients do not touch surfaces
    • cleaning the property before and after inspections.
  • Keep detailed contact records of people attending open homes and auctions.
  • Ensure people with any symptoms of illness do not attend a property.

Auction houses

Auction houses can open to the public for limited purposes, to allow:

  • sellers and prospective sellers to drop off goods for sale, attend an auction and pick up any unsold goods
  • buyers and prospective buyers to inspect goods before an auction, attend an auction and pick up goods after an auction
  • auctioneers, and any person necessary for the preparation and conduct of an auction, to conduct an auction.

In addition:

  • the occupier of the auction house must develop and comply with a COVID-19 safety plan
  • persons attending an auction house are exempt from the 10 person gathering restrictions in clause 6 of the order.

The 4 square metre rule and physical distancing applies and the number of persons allowed on premises is restricted to 100 people indoors or 500 people outdoors.

Shopping and retail

Shopping and retail premises are open to the public.

Sport, pools and outdoor activities

Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people. 

Activities permitted

  • Public gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Use of outdoor equipment in public places, with caution.
  • Swimming in outdoor pools where there are no more than 10 people allowed in the pool.
  • Recreational activities such as fishing and hunting.
  • Boating in non-commercial recreational vessels is permitted under public health order conditions including that:
    • all people on the vessel are members of the same household and/or
    • any people on the vessel who are not members of the same household should practise physical distancing where practicable.
  • Lawn bowling is allowed providing public health order conditions are met including that:
    • there are only 10 people on a bowling green at any one time (excluding staff and game officials)
    • physical distancing is maintained
    • the licensee records the name and phone number of each player and records are kept for 4 weeks.

Activities not permitted

  • Indoor sporting events.
  • Local sporting competitions involving more than 10 people.

Venues that are closed

  • Indoor public swimming pools are closed except for squad training in swimming pools with a length of at least 25 metres, in line with set requirements under public health order conditions
  • Indoor recreation facilities (for example, squash courts, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks).

Learn more about having picnics, training outdoors and using exercise equipment.

Travel and transport

  • There are no limitations to travelling within NSW for the purposes of work, school, exercise or visiting family and friends. 

  • You may not travel to regional NSW for a holiday.

  • You should postpone or cancel any interstate and international travel plans.

Learn more about driving, boating, and restrictions on travelling interstate or overseas.

Visiting family and friends

  • Up to 5 visitors may visit another household at any one time.
  • There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you don’t have more than 5 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 5 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

People at higher risk of serious infection

COVID-19 presents a more serious risk to:

  • 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.

Volunteering

There are no restrictions on volunteering for a charity.

Foodbanks and homeless shelters have not been closed.

Weddings

In addition to the couple, the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the wedding, a photographer, videographer, and up to 10 guests may attend a wedding.

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

Work

Employers must allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practical to do so. 

Worship and religious gatherings

A maximum of 10 people can attend a religious gathering, or attend a place of worship for private worship.

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

People attending a place of public worship will be required to provide their name and contact details when they enter so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Penalties for breaching orders

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 for spitting and coughing

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.

Reporting a breach of the rules

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

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