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COVID-19: Public health orders - restrictions in regional NSW

This factsheet is part of a series from Legal Aid NSW about COVID-19 and everyday law. For other factsheets, including how restrictions affect Greater Sydney, travel, court 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 will give you a summary of what restrictions apply in Regional NSW.

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.

The current Public Health Order splits NSW into three different areas:

  1. General Area
  2. Stay at Home Area (Greater Sydney and parts of Regional NSW)
  3. Areas of Concern (12 suburbs in Greater Sydney)

If you are in the Greater Sydney region, including the areas of concern, read this factsheet.

From Saturday 11 September 2021, parts of Regional NSW are no longer in lockdown, but will continue to operate under restrictions.

Local Government areas (LGAs) out of lockdown are listed here. Areas remaining in lockdown are listed here.

What rules do I need to follow in Regional NSW?

This is what you need to know to follow the public health orders:

For people in regional LGAs who are no longer in lockdown:

Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

  • Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home. This does not include children 12 and under.
  • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

  • 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.


  • Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.

Stadiums, theatres, and major outdoor recreation facilities

  • 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.

Weddings, funerals and places of worship 

  • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
  • Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.


  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.


  • 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.

For more information, see Regional and Rural Areas with Limited Restrictions.

For people in regional LGAs who must follow stay-at-home orders:

  • You must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes:
    • Obtaining food or other goods or services locally
    • Going to work if you cannot work from home and the business is allowed to be open
    • Going for education purposes
    • Exercising or outdoor recreation, either within your local government area or if another local government area, then no more than 5km from your home
    • Medical or caring reasons, including getting a COVID-19 vaccination
    • See the other reasonable excuses here.
  • 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.

Exercise and outdoor gatherings

  • You must only exercise in the LGA where you live or no more than 5 km from your home. You must carry proof of your address if you are exercising outdoors or have left your home for recreation. You must show your proof of address if asked by the NSW Police.
  • 5 people, not including those under 12 years, may participate in an outdoor gathering if all persons who are at least 16 years of age are fully vaccinated, otherwise it is limited to 2 people.
  • If you are at least 16 years, you must carry vaccination evidence and produce the evidence if requested to do by the NSW Police.


  • 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.


  • Do not travel to Greater Sydney unless you have a reasonable excuse. If you do, you will need to stay at home for 14 days after you leave Greater Sydney.
  • 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 they are your nominated visitor.
  • From 21 August 2021, you need to register to travel when travelling outside of Greater Sydney.
  • From 28 August 2021, if you need to enter an area of concern for work, you will need a permit issued by Service NSW.

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 the rules for Regional NSW, including what activities are and are not permitted, and which types of businesses can be open, see the NSW Government website.

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.

If you have received a Public Health Order fine and want to discuss your options directly with Revenue NSW you can contact them on (02) 7808 6934 (8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday – Friday).

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.

CVCIV15 | 14 September 2021 | © Legal Aid NSW