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NSW – COVID Restrictions Update

Published January 06, 2021 (last updated July 19, 2021) Author: Employsure

Latest COVID-19 updates

The current lockdown and all settings have been extended until at least 11:59pm Friday 30 July for those in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong.

Tighter restrictions from 5PM, 9 July 2021

As of 5pm Friday, 9 July 2021, these restrictions apply to those already under stay-at-home orders in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong.

  • Outdoor public gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of the same household)
  • People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10kms of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members.
  • Browsing in shops is prohibited, plus only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping.
  • Funeral limited to 10 people in total (as of Sunday, 11 July 2021)


As of 6pm Saturday June 26 2021, until at least 11:59pm Friday 30 July 2021, stay-at-home orders apply to all people in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong.

The four reasons people will only be allowed to leave their 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)
  • Exercising outdoors with no more than two people (unless members of same households)
  • Essential work or education, where you cannot work or study from home

Rules for leaving home to go to work

You may only leave your home to go to work if

Fairfield, Liverpool, or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas

If you live in the Fairfield, Liverpool, or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas you cannot leave the local government area that you live in to go to work unless you are an authorised worker.

If you live in Fairfield, Liverpool, or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas, and you cannot work from home and your workplace is still open, you can go to work if it is within the local government area in which you live.

Find out more about the rules for Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury Bankstown.

Closure of retail businesses

From Sunday 18 July 2021 most retail premises in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour are closed to the public.

Retail premises providing essential products and services that can be open are

  • supermarkets
  • grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable, seafood and other food retailers)
  • kiosks and other small food and drink premises
  • petrol stations
  • liquor stores
  • chemists providing health, medical, maternity and baby supplies 
  • banks and financial institutions
  • hardware, building supplies
  • landscaping material supplies
  • agricultural and rural supplies 
  • pet supplies
  • post offices and newsagents
  • office supplies
  • garden centres and plant nurseries
  • vehicle hire premises, not including the premises at which vehicles are sold;
  • shops that predominantly carry out repairs of mobile phones.

‘Click and collect’ and home delivery 

Businesses may continue to operate if they provide goods and services to customers that are 

  • ordered by phone or internet 
  • delivered to customers 
  • collected by customers.

A ‘click and collect’ service can also be used by customers to return or exchange goods by prior arrangement either by phone or internet.

Businesses may continue to operate if they provide goods and services to customers and follow the requirements for

Critical repairs, maintenance and cleaning

To reduce the risks associated with mobile workers, restrictions apply to services provided to residential premises in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

From Sunday 18 July 2021, services cannot be provided to a residential premises for

  • repairs
  • maintenance
  • cleaning.

Repairs, maintenance or cleaning services are allowed only if urgently required for

  • the health, safety or security of the premises or members of the household or
  • because of an emergency.

Any repairs, maintenance or cleaning that can be delayed should be rearranged.

You must not allow a worker to enter your home to provide these services.

From Sunday 18 July 2021, it is not a reasonable excuse to leave your home in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour to provide these services.

Construction activity pause

From Monday 12:01am on 19 July 2021, work at construction sites in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, is not to be carried out unless the work is urgently required

  • to ensure the safety or security of the construction site
  • to deal with environmental risks
  • to maintain and ensure the integrity of critical plant, equipment or assets, including partially completed works, that would otherwise deteriorate
  • to receive deliveries of supplies that would otherwise deteriorate
  • to maintain public utilities
  • to ensure the safe operation of existing transport infrastructure
  • by or on behalf of NSW Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • because of an emergency.

Residential renovations, alterations and additions

All renovations or other works at a place of residence to make alterations or additions are not allowed unless they are necessary for the safety or security of the site.

This means that the site of any existing renovations can be made safe and secure, but then all work must stop.

Face masks

In Greater Sydney, when you leave home, you must carry a face mask with you at all times. 

You must wear a face mask 

  • in all indoor areas of non-residential premises
  • at certain outdoor gatherings
  • if you are on public transport
  • in a major recreation facility such as a stadium
  • if you are working in a hospitality venue
  • in indoor areas of construction sites, except when an exemption applies such as when
    • wearing a face mask creates a safety issue or
    • there is a worksite emergency.

Face masks must be worn at 

  • Flemington Markets
  • Sydney Fish Markets. 

Common indoor areas in residential buildings

You must wear a fitted face mask when you are in an indoor area of common property in a residential building that is

  • strata titled
  • community titled or
  • company titled.

You do not need to wear a mask inside your own apartment.

Common areas where you must wear a mask include

  • a shared foyer or lobby of an apartment block
  • lifts, stairwells and corridors
  • shared laundry facilities.

Masks must be worn by anyone entering including

  • residents and visitors
  • building managers, concierge staff and cleaners
  • people providing goods and services including tradespeople and contractors
  • people delivering food, mail and parcels. 

Learn more about face mask rules

Restrictions for rest of NSW

In other parts of NSW, the following restrictions apply:

  • People who have been in the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) on or after June 21 should follow the stay-at-home orders for a period of 14 days after they left Greater Sydney
  • Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children
  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed
  • Singing by audiences and choirs at indoor venues or by congregants at indoor places of worship is not allowed
  • Dancing is not allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party only (no more than 20 people)
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn)
  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals
  • Outdoor seated, ticketed events will be limited to 50 per cent seated capacity


You are not required to wear a mask if you

  • are a child aged 12 or under
  • have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable (for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma).
  • are communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • are at work and the nature of the work makes wearing a mask a risk to the person’s, or another persons’, health and safety, or means clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth is essential

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Note from Employsure

The above is a general guide to the restrictions in NSW. For official and detailed information, please visit the NSW Government’s Covid website. If you need further information on how these restrictions impact your workplace as an employer, please get in touch with our advice line or, if you are not a client, we can assist you with free, initial advice on 1300 207 182.

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