Health and Safety

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE

As at 17 September 2021

The NSW Government is continually monitoring the status of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the community and restrictions relating to travel and public gatherings are in place.

NSW Health are regularly updating the case location webpage as new venues visited by confirmed cases of COVID-19 emerge. As contact tracing and testing is ongoing, please regularly check the NSW Health website to remain up-to-date with case locations and public health alerts.

For the latest information, please visit the NSW Government COVID-19 website, or follow the NSW Health Facebook account and the NSW Health Twitter account.

 

Stay at home orders for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong extended until 30 September.

People must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. The four reasons to leave your home are:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person only);
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (only one visitor can enter another residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together);
  • Exercise with no more than two (unless members of the same household);
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

Only essential retail stores (including supermarkets, liquor stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, post offices and hardware stores) may remain open. All other stores can operate only as takeaway, delivery or click and collect. All hospitality venues must be closed to the public (including pubs, restaurants and cafes) except for takeaway.

You cannot have visitors to your home from outside your household, including family and friends. 

The following restrictions also apply:

  • Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
  • Masks are compulsory on all public transport and in taxis/ride share vehicles;
  • You must carry a mask with you at all times when you leave the home and they must be worn in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance, when working outdoors, in outdoor markets and shopping strips, and in outdoor queues when waiting for food/coffee etc;

From 12.01am Monday 23 August people in Greater Sydney must wear a mask outside their home at all times, except when exercising.

From 12.01am Monday 23 August new restrictions are in place for the identified LGAs of concern:

  • The following retail premises must close except for click and collect: garden centres and plant nurseries, office supplies, hardware and building supplies, landscaping material supplies, rural supplies, and pet supplies (tradespeople are allowed to shop in-store where relevant); and
  • All exams and other education or professional development related activities will move online, not including the HSC. The government will provide further information on its education plan in due course.

 

Stay at home orders for regional NSW

Parts of regional NSW currently deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days will emerge from lockdown at 12:01am Saturday 11 September, but will continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities. 

  • Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).
  • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings. 
  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
  • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
  • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people. 
  • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
  • Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity. 
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.


Masks

  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports. 
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
  • Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors. 

 

The following LGAs in regional NSW remain under strict stay at home orders:

  • Albury
  • Bathurst
  • Bourke
  • Brewarrina
  • Broken Hill 
  • Central Coast
  • Central Darling
  • Cessnock
  • Dubbo
  • Eurobodalla
  • Gilgandra
  • Glen Innes
  • Goulburn Mulwarre
  • Kiama
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lithgow
  • Lismore
  • Maitland
  • Mid-Western
  • Narromine
  • Newcastle
  • Orange
  • Port Stephens
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Shellharbour
  • Shoalhaven
  • Walgett
  • Wingecarribee
  • Yass Valley

In these LGAs, the four reasons to leave your home are:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person only);
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (only one visitor can enter another residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together);
  • Exercise with no more than two (unless members of the same household);
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

Only essential retail stores (including supermarkets, liquor stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, post offices and hardware stores) may remain open. All other stores can operate only as takeaway, delivery or click and collect. All hospitality venues must be closed to the public (including pubs, restaurants and cafes) except for takeaway.

The following restrictions also apply:

  • Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
  • Masks are compulsory on all public transport and in taxis/ride share vehicles;
  • You must carry a mask with you at all times when you leave the home and they must be worn in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance, when working outdoors, in outdoor markets and shopping strips, and in outdoor queues when waiting for food/coffee etc;

People across NSW should only enter Greater Sydney for essential purposes.

 

Domestic Travel

Requirements are changing, and each state or territory has its own permits and travel restrictions for residents and travellers from NSW.

As of 5 February 2021, visitors arriving in NSW from ‘affected areas’ and ‘areas of concern’ must complete a self-declaration form and may be required to get tested for COVID-19 and/or self-isolate.

Please check NSW.gov.au for the latest information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/border-restrictions

Anyone visiting other states from NSW must comply with the border crossing and isolation or quarantine requirements in the state they are travelling to.

Read more about travelling to and from NSW here.

Holidaymakers should call their planned accommodation venues, attractions and tourism operators to ensure they will be open and confirm bookings before travelling.

Visitors and businesses must follow the latest health advice in terms of physical distancing, practicing good hygiene, and staying home if feeling unwell.

A breach of the Public Health Orders in NSW may result in a fine or penalty.

 

International Travel

At this time, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members are permitted to travel to Australia. All travellers arriving in Australia must self-isolate in a designated facility (such as a hotel) for 14 days in their port of arrival. See Australian Border Force for more information.

An international travel ban is in place for all Australian citizens and permanent residents with few exceptions (including the New Zealand travel bubble).

 

Health and Hygiene

For information on how to protect yourself and others against COVID-19, please follow Australian Health and NSW Health expert advice.

Masks are mandatory in certain indoor setting in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Central Coast. Outside of these areas, NSW Health recommends wearing a mask in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets.

Good hygiene and physical distancing recommendations include:

  • Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow
  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Practicing physical distancing by standing two arm lengths apart (1.5m) at all times

 

Temperatures

A temperate climate makes New South Wales the perfect travel destination year-round, but extreme weather conditions may occur on occasion. Always plan your trip in advance and check weather conditions in the area you are travelling to. Seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Summer is from December to February, with an average maximum temperature of 26C (79F). The coolest months are June to August, during which daytime temperatures rarely fall below 7C (45F).

The Bureau of Meteorology website provides the Australian community with official weather forecasts as well as nationwide weather warnings. 

 

 

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

 

 

Current alerts

The following websites will provide you with the latest official information on weather warnings, fire warnings, health and emergency alerts, and official safety advice:

Walking and hiking in national parks

Check weather forecasts and national park conditions before setting off, and be sure to consult the local park office if unsure of the level of difficulty of your planned walk. Always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to be back.

A local map and compass should be carried along with other essential items (including adequate water and snacks); consider taking a personal locator beacon or satellite phone as remote areas may have little or no mobile phone reception.

Ensure you are appropriately clothed, including good walking shoes, layered, long-sleeved tops and trousers to protect against bites and stings, sunhat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen and insect repellent.

Always walk in groups of three or more and consider using a guide for long or challenging routes.

 

 

Driving

International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Speed limits are strictly enforced and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

Familiarise yourself with the road rules. Drive on major and sealed roads where possible and avoid driving at night. Under Australian law, drivers and all passengers must wear seatbelts. If riding a motorcycle, moped, motor scooter or bicycle you must wear a helmet.

If driving in remote areas, be sure to carry up-to-date maps and always inform someone of your intended route. In country areas, be alert to native animals such as kangaroos, wombats and possums, which may stray on to the road – they are most active at dusk and dawn.

Pack extra supplies, including water and fuel, and be sure to take frequent breaks on long trips. Avoid driving at high-risk times (such as during your usual sleep time or after a long flight, bus journey or train journey).

Hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers is strongly discouraged.

Never leave your car if you break down in a remote area – remain with the vehicle and wait for assistance.

Do not attempt to cross flooded roads as these waters may have strong currents capable of sweeping away a vehicle. Contact the local State Emergency Service (SES) or call 000 if in an emergency situation. For more information:

Road Rules: www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/

Live Traffic NSW app:

Download the Live Traffic NSW App from the App Store

Download the Live Traffic NSW App from the Google Play

 

 

Insects and animals

Some insects in Australia may transmit diseases such as dengue fever, Ross River Fever and viral encephalitis. To protect against bites and stings, wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers and apply effective insect repellent to exposed skin.

NSW is home to some venomous snakes and spiders. If bitten by a snake, call 000 for an ambulance, apply a pressure-immobilisation bandage and head for the nearest hospital. Don’t wash, suck or cut the bite site or apply a tight tourniquet.

The only harmful spiders in Australia are the red back and the funnel web. The female red back is identified by a red or orange stripe along its back; the male is small and black, and usually harmless.

The funnel web spider is large and black, and a bite can be dangerous. First aid in the event of a funnel web bite should include applying a pressure immobilisation bandage around the bite, followed by immobilisation of the entire limb with a splint and bandage. Call 000 and get the patient to the nearest hospital.

 

 

In the sun

The sun in NSW is very strong and can burn the skin even on cloudy days. Avoid being outdoors for lengthy periods between 11am and 3pm, when UV rays are at their most intense.

Always wear a sunhat, sunglasses and water-resistant sunscreen (SPF30+ or higher; applied repeatedly throughout the day), and clothes that cover as much of your skin as possible, even while swimming.

Protect against heat exhaustion by keeping well hydrated, particularly during physical exertion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, fainting, fatigue, nausea or vomiting. If affected, rest in the shade and rehydrate with water or diluted sports drinks.

Heat stroke is a severe form of heat illness, and can lead to disorientation, hallucinations and seizures. Seek medical assistance immediately if exhibiting these symptoms.

 

 

In the water

At the beach, in lakes and rivers, rock pools and waterholes:

When swimming at the beach, be aware of rips and currents, which can be extremely hazardous. If you get caught in one of these strong currents, stay calm and either float with the current or swim across it. Never try to swim against it.

Always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate that Surf Lifesavers patrol that section of beach. Avoid swimming or surfing alone and never run or dive into the water – there may be sand bars or other submerged objects.

If you are unsure of surf conditions, ask a lifesaver, and heed all safety signs. Some sea animals may inflict a bite or sting so avoid contact with marine life.

Take care when rock fishing as rocks can be slippery. Never fish alone and always wear a life jacket Take care when swimming in rock pools, rivers or waterholes.

 

 

Rock Fishing

Rock Fishing is a dangerous pastime. Wearing a life jacket can significantly increase your chance of survival if you are washed into the water. Please remember that if you are rock fishing in Randwick the wearing of life jackets is mandatory. 

 

Never fish by yourself. Fish in a group of a least three people and within sight of each other. If someone is washed in, one person can stay and help while the other alerts emergency services (dial 000). Mobile phone users can also dial 112 to access emergency services.

 

Cleats, sandals and sandshoes with non-slip soles suit different surfaces. Use the appropriate shoes for the conditions.

 

Make sure you are aware of local weather, swell and tidal conditions before going fishing. Listen to weather forecasts or call the weather information line on 1900 937 107. Be aware that conditions may change dramatically in a short period of time.

 

 

Accessible Activities and Attractions

Sydney is a vibrant city where it's easy to get out and about if you have a disability or require assistance with access. Visit www.sydneyforall.com for accessible attractions and events.

 

 

Smoking bans

Smoking is generally banned in public, across Sydney and New South Wales, to protect people from harmful second hand tobacco smoke. Smoking is banned in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other venues.

Cigarette Butts – Police issue a $60 fine for throwing a cigarette on the street, or $200 if it is still alight.

Smoking Indoors - There is a total ban on smoking in indoor public spaces.

Smoking in Cars with a child passenger incurs a $250 on-the-spot fine.

Smoking Outdoors is illegal in public spaces, such as public transport stops and taxi ranks, building entrances, children’s playgrounds, swimming pools and at major sports grounds.

 

 

More useful contacts: