Lockdown restrictions for greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong have been tightened, just shy of two weeks after they were first introduced.
In announcing the hardening of the lockdown on 9 July, New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, warned she “can’t see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions” by 16 July, when the lockdown is set to expire, “unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers”.
The tighter lockdown is aimed at achieving zero new Covid cases who have been infectious in the community – something Berejiklian has set as a requirement to easing restrictions.
Here are the current Covid restrictions in place in New South Wales.
Does the lockdown apply to me?
People cannot leave their homes unless it is for one of the four essential reasons:
Shopping for food or other essential goods and services. Browsing in shops is prohibited, and only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping.
Medical care or compassionate needs, including getting a Covid-19 vaccine
Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer. From 5pm on 9 July, this will be further restricted to groups of two, who cannot travel further than 10km from their home or local government area.
Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home
See here for the full list of reasonable excuses to leave your home.
What businesses can open in lockdown?
Food businesses can open for takeaway only. Supermarkets and grocery stories will be open throughout the lockdown. Entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, music halls, concert halls and dance halls and amusement centres, such as places to play billiards, pool, pinball machines or video games are all closed.
From 5pm on 9 July, browsing in shops will be prohibited. Only one person per household per day may leave the home for shopping.
See here for a full list of which businesses are open and closed.
Can weddings go ahead?
People are not allowed to attend or hold a wedding in greater Sydney.
What about funerals?
Currently, funerals can continue to take place, including in the locked-down areas, with a maximum of 10 people, including the person conducting the service. Attending a funeral is a reasonable excuse to leave home.
Can I exercise?
Outdoor exercise is limited to two people. However, members of the same household gathering outdoors for exercise will be allowed to do so in groups larger than two.
As part of the tightened restrictions, people must stay in their local government area or within 10km of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members.
The NSW restrictions state that no community sport in greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour should proceed.
Can I have visitors to my house?
If you are in greater Sydney, you cannot have visitors to your house and you must comply with the stay at home rules. If you want to visit another person you will need a reasonable excuse to be away from your place of residence. A visitor does not include a person at the place of residence who is there:
For work or attend a university or other tertiary education facility
As a carer (only one visitor can enter another residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons).
To give effect to arrangements between parents and children under 18 or their siblings
To assist a person to move places of residence
To avoid an injury or serious risk of harm
Because of an emergency
To view or inspect property to lease or purchase it
In regional NSW, visitors to households have been limited to only five guests – including children.
What are the restrictions at hospitality and entertainment venues?
In greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, food businesses can open for takeaway only. Entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, music halls, concert halls and dance halls and amusement centres, such as places to play billiards, pool, pinball machines or video games are all closed.
Outside of greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, the one person per 4 sq metre rule has been re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals.
Drinking while standing at indoor venues is also not allowed and outdoor seated events are limited to only 50% seated capacity.
Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is also banned, and dancing is not allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs. However, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).
Can I travel interstate?
People in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong cannot travel.
As of Sunday 11 July, people outside of greater Sydney also cannot enter greater Sydney for the purposes of exercise or outdoor recreation. People can only enter greater Sydney for a funeral or memorial service, or for obtaining goods or services if those goods or services are not reasonably available outside of greater Sydney.
A person over 18 who is leaving greater Sydney must also carry evidence showing their address and produce it to a police officer on request.
Other states and territories have closed their borders to parts of NSW. Each state and territory is updating guidance on travel rules individually:
What about public gatherings?
Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 10 people in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, but from 5pm on 9 July, this will be reduced to two people. In these areas, you must not participate in an outdoor public gathering, unless you are:
Working or attending a university or other tertiary education facility
Providing care or assistance to vulnerable persons
Gathering with your household
Gathering for a funeral
Providing emergency assistance to a person
Fulfilling a legal obligation
Moving home or moving your business to a new premises
See here for a list of exemptions to these rules.
Outside of the areas in lockdown, up to 200 people can gather in an outdoor public place such as a park, reserve, beach, garden or public space.
Outdoor seated events are limited to 50% seated capacity.
What are the rules around masks?
The requirement to wear a face mask in all indoor areas of non-residential premises that was recently applied in greater Sydney has been extended to all of NSW.
As well as wearing a face mask in all indoor areas, you must also wear a face mask:
At organised outdoor gatherings
If you are on public transport
In all indoor construction sites
In a major recreation facility such as a stadium or
If you are working in a hospitality venue
From Tuesday 13 July in greater Sydney, you also have to wear a mask in the indoor common areas of a residential building, such as a lift of the lobby of an apartment block.
What other restrictions are in place for regional NSW?
As well as the new mask mandate, the following restrictions remain in place across NSW:
Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn).
Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced.
Nightclubs must still be Covid safe, while weddings, funerals and memorial services must have and comply with a Covid-19 safety plan.
When a religious service is held in a place of public worship, the premises must have and comply with a Covid-19 Safety Plan for a place of worship.
See the full list of what you can do in NSW at the NSW Health website
Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.