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New Public health orders as at March 31st

Public health orders have been issued to protect the community and reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Stay at home  You must stay at home unless you are going to

  • work (where you can’t work remotely)

  • school or an educational institution

  • shop for food and essentials

  • get medical care or supplies

  • exercise. NOTE: Part 2 Movement 5 Direction of Minister concerning staying at home Taking a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse (SEE EXTRACT of order BELOW)

You may only leave home with a reasonable excuse, including to

  • avoid injury or illness or escape a risk of harm

  • deal with emergencies or on compassionate grounds

  • access childcare

  • provide care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or to provide emergency assistance

  • attend a wedding or funeral (subject to 5 and 10 person limits)

  • move to a new place of residence, or between your different places of residence

  • donate blood

  • undertake legal obligations

  • access social services, employment services, services provided to victims (including as victims of crime), domestic violence services, and mental health services

  • continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children for children who do not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents

  • go to a place of worship or to provide pastoral care if you are a priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order.

Note: Reasonable Excuses (source) Note (4) above Taking a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse.

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. Rules for gatherings, public places and businesses Two person gathering rule Do not gather with more than 2 people in public, except for gatherings with members of the same household. This rule does not apply to a gathering:

  • for work purposes

  • where the gathering consists only of members of the same household

  • for a wedding or funeral (which are subject to 5 and 10 person limits)

  • to facilitate a move to a new place of residence

  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person

  • to provide emergency assistance, or

  • which is an essential gathering described below.

Your place of residence is not considered a public place. For places and businesses that can remain open In a place that may remain open to the public, occupiers and operators of the premises must not:

  • allow persons to enter or stay on the premises (whether outdoor or indoor) if the size of the premises is insufficient to allow for 4 square metres of space for each person (the 4 square metre rule)

  • allow 100 or more people to enter and stay on indoor premises at the same time (the 100 person rule), and

  • allow 500 or more people to enter and stay on outdoor premises at the same time (the 500 person rule).

The 4 square metre rule and the 100 person and 500 person rules do not apply to an essential gathering. Certain retail stores (including those in shopping centres) are required to follow the 4 square metre rule. Retail stores are not subject to the 100 person rule. Essential gatherings Gatherings for the normal business of the following places are essential gatherings

  • airports

  • transportation (including vehicles, stations, platforms and stops)

  • hospitals or other medical or health service facilities

  • emergency services

  • prisons, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody

  • disability or aged care facilities 

  • courts or tribunals

  • Parliament

  • supermarkets, food markets or grocery stores 

  • shopping centres

  • retail stores

  • office buildings, factories, mines, farms and constructions sites

  • schools, universities, other educational institutions and child care facilities

  • hotel, motel or other accommodation facilities

  • outdoor thoroughfares.

Where a place can remain open, all people should follow NSW Health advice about social distancing and personal hygiene and always try to maintain 1.5 metres from all other people at all times. Individuals are responsible for following this advice to protect themselves but also to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Weddings and funerals Restrictions apply to the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals at places of worship, with:

  • 5 people only for weddings 

  • 10 people only for funerals.

Businesses, places and services that are open, closed or restricted


  • Crisis and temporary accommodation

  • Disability or aged care facilities

  • Hotels, motels or other accommodation

  • Youth hostels

Education and childcare 

  • Childcare facilities are not required to close, so if your centre is open you can still take your children.

  • Schools remain open, however parents are encouraged to keep their children home where possible. No child will be turned away from a school in NSW.

  • TAFE and educational colleges

  • Universities

Food and beverages

  • Bottle shops

Healthcare Call ahead if you have any coronavirus symptoms or are feeling unwell.

  • Chemist

  • Doctors and medical centres

  • Hospitals

  • Physiotherapy

Shopping You may leave your house to obtain food or other goods or services for the personal needs of your household, or other household purposes (including for pets) or for vulnerable persons.

  • Shopping centres

  • Supermarkets and convenience stores

Volunteering You may leave your house if needed in your role as a volunteer for a charity.

  • Foodbanks and homeless shelters have not been closed under the Orders.

Work You can go to work if you cannot work from home. This includes volunteer work. 

  • Construction sites

  • Factories

  • Farms

  • Mines

  • Office buildings

These restrictions are enforceable under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020, effective 31 March 2020.

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