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COVID-19: Public Health Orders – Restrictions in Greater Sydney (Stay at Home Areas and Areas of Concern)

This factsheet is part of a series from Legal Aid NSW about COVID-19 and everyday law. For other factsheets, including how restrictions affect regional NSW and more, visit: www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/covid-19

Public Health Orders

The NSW Government has made Public Health Orders to limit the spread of COVID-19. Different restrictions apply to different areas of NSW. The orders are changing all the time and can be hard to understand. This factsheet gives a summary of the different areas of NSW and what restrictions apply.

How do I know which rules to follow?

You need to follow the rules for the area where you work and live. If you want to check what area you are in and what restrictions apply to you, have a look at this map.

General Area means:

  • Anywhere in NSW that is not a stay at home area or an area of concern.

Stay at Home Area means:

  • Greater Sydney, which includes Blue Mountains and Wollongong.
    • From 21 August, Central Coast and Shellharbour are no longer considered part of Greater Sydney.
  • Some parts of Regional NSW.

Areas of Concern include:

  • Bayside
  • Blacktown
  • Burwood
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Liverpool
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith - Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair, and St Mary’s.
  • Strathfield

I live in Greater Sydney (other than area of concern)

For Greater Sydney residents, the main rules you need to know include:

Stay at home unless there is a reasonable excuse

  • You must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse. Remember to look at the reasonable excuses which apply to your area.
  • 1 person per day from a household can shop for goods or services. Stay within your local government area, or within 5km of your home if in another LGA, unless the food or goods or

services are not available locally.

  • You must carry proof of your address if you have left home for a reasonable excuse or are exercising outdoors. You must show your proof of address if asked by the NSW Police.

Exercise and outdoor recreation

  • You must only exercise in the LGA where you live or no more than 5km from your home. You can exercise with the people you live with, or 1 person you do not live with.
  • From Monday 13 September 2021, 5 people can gather outside for outdoor recreation:
    • Any persons over the age of 16 must be fully vaccinated and be able to show a police officer proof of vaccination or a medical certificate to show why you cannot be vaccinated if requested.
    • The 5-person limit does not include children under 12.

Visitors

  • Visitors to the home are not allowed unless one of the exceptions apply or for caring and compassionate reasons.
  • If you live alone, you can have a nominated visitor (“singles bubble”). You can choose one family member or friend to visit for companionship, but they must be from the same LGA as you. You do not need to register your nominated visitor.

Travel

  • You must not travel in a car with another person who is not from your home, unless it is for work purposes, emergency/compassionate reasons or is your nominated visitor (singles bubble).
  • You need to register your travel with Service NSW if:
    • You are travelling outside of Greater Sydney. This includes travelling for work more than 50km outside of Greater Sydney, inspecting a potential place of residence, or moving between 2 places of residence. This starts from 21 August; or
    • You are entering an area of concern for work this starts from 28 August.
    • If you are unsure whether this applies to you, you can check here.
  • If your workplace is 50km or more outside Greater Sydney, you must have a COVID-19 test in the 7 days before you start working. A map of the 50km zone around Greater Sydney is here. You must have proof of your COVID-19 test, like an SMS or email, to show your manager or the police. You can go to work before you get the results.

General information

  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times and wear a face mask outdoors. For more information about mask wearing and exemptions, see the Face Mask Rules.
  • Follow the Check-in Rules by giving your personal details by QR code or paper registration when you go to a business premises.
  • Use Physical Distancing wherever possible.
  • Follow the Self-Isolation Rules, which includes what to do when you are a close contact, secondary close contact, or casual contact.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or a runny nose, you should get tested and self-isolate. You can find a COVID-19 testing clinic on the NSW Government website.

For more information about Greater Sydney, including what activities are and are not permitted, see the NSW Government website.

I live in an Area of Concern

For residents who live in area of concern, the main rules you need to know include:

Stay at home unless there is a reasonable excuse

  • You must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse.
  • You cannot travel more than 5km from home for shopping unless the goods or services are not available in the area. Only 1 person per household may leave their home each day to shop for food or other goods and services.
  • You can transport a member of your household who is authorised to leave because they have a reasonable excuse, for example, taking a child to school.
  • You must carry proof of your address if you have left home for a reasonable excuse or are exercising outdoors. You must show your proof of address if asked by the NSW Police.

Leaving home for work

  • You can go to work in the same local government area you live in if:
  • the business is allowed to be open
  • you cannot reasonably work from home
  • From 28 August, you will need to register to travel with Service NSW if you are an authorised worker from an area of concern and need to leave the area for work.
  • From 9 September, authorised workers must not leave their local government area for work unless they have:
    • had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
    • evidence of a medical exemption, or
    • an appointment booked to be vaccinated on or before 19 September 2021 and have evidence of the appointment.
  • From 20 September, authorised workers will only be able to leave their local government area for work if they have:
    • had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
    • evidence of a medical exemption.
  • Different vaccination requirements apply to different categories workers, see here for further information.
  • You do not have to get a COVID-19 test before going out to work in the local government area that you live in, but it is encouraged.

Exercise and outdoor recreation

  • You can leave home to exercise, or supervise a child aged 12 or under who is exercising or playing, within 5km of your home. You can exercise with 1 other person that you do not live with or your nominated visitor.
  • From Monday 13 September, if you are fully vaccinated, you can go out for outdoor recreation with fully vaccinated members of your household, or with one other fully vaccinated person who is not a member of your household for up to two hours a day.
    • You must stay within 5kms of your home, and
    • have proof of your vaccination or a medical certificate to show why you cannot be vaccinated if requested by a police officer.

Visitors

  • If you live alone – which means there are no other adults who live in the same home – you can have a nominated visitor. From 21 August, you will need to register your COVID-19 nominated visitor (‘singles bubble’ visitor). Singles bubble visits must be done within 5km of your home.

Travel

  • You must not travel in a car with another person who is not from your home, unless it is for work purposes, emergency or compassionate reasons or is your nominated visitor.
  • From 21 August 2021, you need to register your travel when travelling outside of Greater Sydney. This includes travelling for work more than 50km outside of Greater Sydney, inspecting a potential place of residence, or moving between 2 places of residence.
    • If you are unsure whether this applies to you, you can check here.

General information

  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times and wear a face mask outdoors. For more information about mask wearing and exemptions, see the Face Mask Rules.
  • Follow the Check In Rules by giving your personal details by QR code or paper registration when you go to a business premises.
  • Use Physical Distancing wherever possible.
  • Follow the Self-Isolation Rules, which includes what to do when you are a close contact, secondary close contact, or casual contact.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or a runny nose, you should get tested and self-isolate. You can find a COVID-19 testing clinic on the NSW Government website.

For more information about areas of concern, including what activities are and are not permitted, see the NSW Government website.

I live outside Greater Sydney

See our Regional NSW factsheet.

What happens if I don’t follow the orders?

See our Breaches of the Public Health Orders factsheet.

Where can I find more information?

For the most up to date information on what you can and cannot do under the rules go to the NSW Government website.

For COVID-19 health questions or to check symptoms, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

How can I get help?

For free legal help call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 or call your local Legal Aid NSW office.

There is also a series of factsheets about COVID-19 and the law available on the Legal Aid NSW website to assist you to manage all the changes that are happening in our community.

If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask for LawAccess NSW. If you find it hard to hear or speak, call the National Relay Service on 133 677 and ask for LawAccess NSW or visit www.relayservice.gov.au

CVCIV16 | 16 September 2021 | © Legal Aid NSW