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Public health orders

Find out how public health orders affect what you can and can't do, where you can go and what is open, closed or restricted.

Stay at home

We must all help to slow the spread of the coronavirus, save lives and protect our health workers.

Keep your distance

If you have to leave home for essential reasons like visiting the doctor or grocery shopping, stay at least 1.5 metres away from others.

Look after yourself and others

Wash your hands regularly and keep in touch with family and friends by phone, social media or video calls where possible.

Stay at home rules

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.

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 (limited to a total of 5 people) or funeral (limited to a total of 10 people, excluding the person/s necessary to conduct the funeral e.g. funeral director)

  • 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

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

Gatherings, public places and businesses

Gathering in a public place is limited to two people.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, including for a gathering:

  • for work
  • of residents from the same household
  • for a wedding (limited to a total of 5 people including the person conducting the service)
  • for a funeral (limited to a total of 10 people excluding the person/s necessary to conduct the service e.g. funeral director)
  • to move to into a new home or business premises
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to fulfil a legal obligation including attending a court or tribunal, satisfying bail requirements or participating in legal proceedings).

The two person rule does not apply to people travelling in cars, or gatherings at public transport stops, stations or platforms.

In a place that may remain open to the public, occupiers and operators of the premises must allow at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises.

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:

Additional measures have been introduced to provide you with greater protection.

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


Call ahead if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling unwell.

  • Chemist
  • Doctors and medical centres
  • Hospitals
  • Physiotherapy


You may leave your house to shop for food and for essentials. This includes for pets and vulnerable people.

  • Shopping centres
  • Supermarkets and convenience stores


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

  • Foodbanks and homeless shelters have not been closed


You can go to work if you cannot work from home.

Community facilities and cultural buildings

  • Community halls
  • Galleries, museums and libraries
  • Historic Houses Trust of NSW
  • National Trust properties

Entertainment and events

  • Betting agencies and gaming lounges
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Concert halls, music halls and dance halls
  • Amusement centres (for billiards, pool, pinball machines or video games)

Personal services

  • Massage parlours
  • Nail, beauty, waxing and tanning salons
  • Spas (including where they are part of a hotel)
  • Tattoo parlours
  • Strip clubs and sex services premises

Real estate and auction houses

  • Auction houses

Sport and recreation

  • Indoor sporting events
  • Local sporting competitions
  • Public swimming pools
  • Indoor recreation facilities (squash courts, indoor swimming pools, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks)
  • Outside gym equipment in public places
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Skate parks


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. 


  • Open for accommodation only. Food and beverages can only be served to guests in their rooms.

Pubs and registered clubs

  • Open for accommodation only. Food and beverages can only be served to guests in their rooms.

Food and beverages

Takeaway food must be consumed off the premises. 

  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Shopping centre food courts
  • Pubs and registered clubs
  • Micro-breweries, small distilleries and cellar door premises
  • Truck stops (excluding truck drivers or their passengers who can consume food or beverages on or off the premises. Premises can include driver rooms, driver lounges or similar facilities located at roadhouses, roadside rest areas and service stations used by truck drivers in connection with their work)


Private homes

Caring for others

  • It is reasonable to leave your home or visit a home to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person. Follow social distancing and personal hygiene advice from NSW Health. 

Legal and justice

Court or tribunals

Prisons, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody

Community Corrections

Lifts / elevators

  • Stay 1.5 metres away from others and wait for the next lift when you need to avoid overcrowding

Outdoor spaces

Personal services

  • 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.

Places of public worship


  • Maximum of 5 people: the couple, celebrant and 2 witnesses


  • Maximum of 10 people excluding the person/s necessary to conduct the service e.g. funeral director

Religious services

  • Services can be streamed or recorded as long as only the person/s conducting the service and the person/s involved in enabling it to be streamed or recorded are present

Real estate and auction houses

  • Open house inspections: private viewings by appointment only
  • Auctions for food supply (including livestock), fibre or crops can take place whether indoors or outdoors (4 square metre rule applies and auctions must comply with the gatherings rule).


You may leave your home to shop for groceries and essentials. You may also assist vulnerable people by shopping for them.

  • Markets: food markets are open
  • Retail stores: 4 square metre rule applies in the store and you must comply with the gatherings rule and only travel to and enter the store with one other person or with members of your household

Sport and recreation

  • Exercising outdoors: you may leave your home to exercise. You must ensure you only exercise with one other person, however all members of the same household may exercise together, even when more than two people. Follow social distancing and personal hygiene advice from NSW Health. 


  • You should postpone or cancel any travel plans. See detailed transport and travel advice including regional, interstate and international travel.

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.

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