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covid19-restriction-checker: COVID-19 Restriction Checker

Domestic travel – New South Wales

Updated on 28 July 2021, at 11:45 AET

Mandatory face masks

You must wear a face mask in the following settings:

  • on public transport, in all indoor non-residential settings, at airports and on commercial domestic flights across NSW
  • in all common indoor areas of residential premises and certain outdoor settings in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour

Once people in Greater Sydney local government areas leave home for a permitted reason, they must carry a face mask with them at all times.

For more detail on current face-mask restrictions and exemptions, see the ‘Face masks’ section below.

Stay-at-home orders

Stay-at-home orders apply to people who live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in:

  • Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas
    • in addition to this stay-at-home order, if you live or are staying in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland or Blacktown in Greater Sydney, you can only leave your LGA to work if you're an authorised worker. If you live in one of these 5 LGAs and are not an authorised worker but can’t work from home and your workplace can stay open, you can only go to work if your workplace is located in the LGA in which you live. From midnight 28 July 2021, this will also include the LGAs of Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River

For more information on COVID-19 rules in NSW, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney.

Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour

If you live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas, you are subject to a stay-at-home direction. You must stay at home — unless you have a reasonable excuse and it’s absolutely necessary to leave, or you haven't been in Greater Sydney for 14 days.

If you have a reasonable excuse to and absolutely must leave your home, stay within your local area. Don’t travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.

If you’ve been in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, for any reason since Monday 21 June 2021, you must follow the stay-at-home rules for 14 days from the date you left the area.

The following restrictions apply:

  • Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 2 people, excluding members of the same household.
  • You must stay in your local government area or within 10 kilometres of your home to exercise or do outdoor recreation
  • Carpooling is not allowed under any circumstance — unless you carpool with members of your household.
  • If you must leave your home for the lawful reason to shop for essential goods and services, you aren't allowed to browse in shops.

The reasons you may leave your home include to:

  • shop for food or other goods and services — only 1 person per household per day may leave the home to shop:
    • for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes, including for pets
    • for vulnerable people
    • from midnight 28 July 2021 you must also stay in your local government area or within 10 kilometres of your home, unless the item is not available locally

Please consider online shopping if you can. See the retail and sales section of the Restriction Checker for more detail about shopping restrictions.

  • travel for work, if your workplace is allowed to stay open and you can’t work at home. However, only authorised workers living or staying in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown Liverpool, Cumberland or Blacktown can leave their LGA to work. If someone lives in one of these 5 LGAs and is not an authorised worker but can’t work from home and their workplace can stay open, they can go to work if their workplace is located in the LGA in which they live. From midnight 28 July 2021, this will also include the LGAs of Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River.
  • travel for education, if you can't study at home
  • exercise and do outdoor recreation — with no more than 1 other person, unless you’re with the members of your household. You must also stay in your local government area or within 10 kilometres of your home
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including for COVID-19 vaccination and to donate blood
  • access childcare
  • continue existing access arrangements for parents and children
  • attend a funeral
  • provide care or assistance, including personal care, to a vulnerable person — only 1 person may visit a place of residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities, or provide care or assistance to vulnerable people at any one time (see the 'Visitors to a residence' section below for more detail)
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • access social services, employment services, services provided to victims — including as victims of crime —, domestic violence services, and mental health services
  • move to a new place of residence, or between different residences
  • undertake legal obligations
  • avoid injury or illness or to escape the risk of harm
  • leave in case of emergencies
  • to provide pastoral care, if you're a faith leader
  • for compassionate reasons, including where 2 people are in a relationship but do not necessarily live together — only 1 person may visit a place of residence for compassionate reasons at any one time (see the 'Visitors to a residence' section below for more detail)

Going on a holiday is not a reasonable excuse to leave your home.

Mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for workers

If you live or are staying in the Fairfield local government area (LGA) and you're an authorised worker who works outside this area, you must get a COVID-19 test once every 3 days (72 hours), even if you don’t have symptoms.

If you’re an emergency worker — including a police officer, an Ambulance Service of NSW member or a Fire and Rescue NSW member — who lives or stays in Fairfield LGA and works outside the area, you only need to get a test every 7 days.

The following surveillance testing requirements will be enforceable from 12:01am Saturday 31 July 2021. However, relevant workers will have from 28 July 2021 to get their first test:

  • all authorised workers from Canterbury-Bankstown LGA must get tested once every 3 days in order to leave their LGA for work.
  • People who live in the Fairfield and Cumberland LGAs but work outside these areas as health or aged care workers (including support services for health or aged care, such as cleaners, cooks and security providers) must be tested once every 3 days in order to be allowed to go to work outside their LGA.

You must carry proof of your negative result with you, such as an SMS or email that confirms your result.

You can go to a COVID-19 testing clinic near your home or near your work, but you can travel to COVID-19 testing clinics outside the Fairfield LGA if you need.

To check if you are an authorised worker, go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/authorised-workers.

If you live or are staying in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour — excluding Fairfield LGA — and work 50 kilometres or more outside this area, you must have a COVID-19 test every 7 days.

If you’re an emergency worker who lives or stays in Greater Sydney — excluding Fairfield LGA — and works 50km or more outside this area, you don’t need to have surveillance testing.

All health and aged-care workers who live or are staying in the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area and work outside this area, must have a COVID-19 test once every 3 days (72 hours) to be allowed to go to work.

An aged-care worker is a person who works in a residential aged-care facility.

A healthcare worker is a person who:

  • provides health services within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1997 (whether public or private sector)
  • is a registered health practitioner
  • works for a registered health practitioner
  • provides ancillary services to a health practitioner, such as cleaners, cooks and security providers at hospitals

For more information on surveillance testing, including a list of COVID-19 testing clinics near you, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney-workers.

Surveillance testing conditions

If you don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, you don’t need to self-isolate until you receive a negative result after getting a surveillance test. However, if you do have even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms, you need to stay away from your workplace, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result. You also need to self-isolate if you’re directed to get tested after you’ve been to a close-contact venue at the relevant times or if you’re a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

People across Greater Sydney should only attend their workplace if they can’t work from home.

Employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee can do so. Those who breach this order will face a fine of up to $10,000.

For more information, including maps of these areas, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney-workers.

Visitors to a residence

Most times, visiting another person is not a reasonable excuse to leave your home. You must not allow someone to visit your home, except in the following circumstances:

  • to work
  • childcare
  • 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

You’re allowed to visit a home or receive a guest to your home for the purposes of caring, providing care to vulnerable persons or for compassionate reasons, including where 2 people are in a relationship but don’t live together. However, only 1 person may visit a place of residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities, provide care or assistance to vulnerable persons, and for compassionate reasons at any one time. You may bring a dependent child with you — if they need supervision and childcare arrangements are not reasonably available.

Restrictions on visiting Greater Sydney

You must not enter Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, without a reasonable excuse — see reasons listed above.

Reasonable excuses for entering the area also include:

You are not allowed to holiday in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

You can’t enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour to:

  • get food or other goods and services for your household or vulnerable people, unless the food, or other goods and services are not available outside Greater Sydney
  • exercise and do outdoor recreation

Proof of address

You must carry proof of your address if you're:

  • exercising outdoors or have left your home for recreation, or
  • leaving Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour

You must show your proof of address if the NSW Police ask you to.

These restrictions are expected to remain in place until 11.59pm Saturday 28 August 2021, subject to advice.

For more information and maps of the affected areas, and to locate what places are within 10 kilometres of your home, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney.

Overseas arrivals and people who have quarantined

You don’t need to follow the stay-at-home rules for 14 days after leaving Greater Sydney if:

  • you have quarantined at a residence, hotel quarantine or medical facility and completed your 14 days in isolation in Greater Sydney
  • you leave Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, as soon as possible after the end of your isolation period
  • you travel out of Greater Sydney by a private vehicle — not by public transport, taxi or ride share — by the most direct route or you travel directly to Sydney Airport and fly out of Greater Sydney
  • you don’t enter any premises in Greater Sydney, where possible
  • you wear a mask and stay 1.5 metres away from any other person while in Greater Sydney
  • you get a COVID-19 test 2 days after leaving isolation

Rest of NSW

Regional NSW

If you live in regional and rural areas, you must not enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas — unless you have a reasonable excuse.

If you enter these areas for any reason, stay-at-home rules will also apply to you for 14 days after you were last in any of these areas.

This means that you’ll need to stay at your place of residence for 14 days, even if it’s in a regional area — unless you have a reasonable excuse.

For more information, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

New South Wales case locations

Anyone who attended venues in NSW at the times listed as case locations at the relevant times must immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive further information from NSW Health.

To view the NSW locations, go to nsw.gov.au and click on ‘COVID-19 case locations update’.

Rural and remote towns with Aboriginal communities

Many Aboriginal communities in NSW are uncomfortable about tourists travelling to their regions. Contact the local council for advice before you travel to a small remote town or community.

Border communities

NSW-Victoria border region residents do not need to complete a declaration to enter NSW if they stay within the border region after entering NSW. For a map of what areas are considered within the border region go to service.nsw.gov.au/border-zone-address-check.

If you are a border region resident and you have travelled outside the border region, the stay-at-home rules may apply.

Follow the rules for wearing a face mask in NSW, at airports and on commercial flights.

Travelling from interstate

The NSW Government has declared the following states and territories as affected areas:

  • Queensland
  • Victoria
  • South Australia

All travellers from these states and territories must complete a NSW entry declaration form before or on arrival into NSW if they:

  • are returning to, visiting or transiting through NSW and
  • have been to an interstate location during the period stated in the concerns notice
  • have been in any of these states or territories in the previous 14 days

Victorian border region communities are exempt from the NSW declaration under existing arrangements.

For more detail and to access the COVID-19 concerns notice, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/interstate-hotspots.

To access the declaration form, go to service.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/travellers-entering-nsw.

Affected areas, areas of concern and high concern

When putting rules and restrictions for interstate travellers in place, the NSW government will classify a particular area as either an ‘affected area’, ‘area of concern’ or a ‘place of high concern’.

The NSW COVID-19 concerns notice, which lists all current affected areas, areas of concern and places of high concern — including both casual and close contact locations — is available at nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/interstate-hotspots. If the area you’re travelling from is neither an affected area, area of concern nor a place of high concern:

  • you may enter NSW
  • you do not need to complete a traveller declaration form
  • you do not need to self-isolate

For more information, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates.

Residents returning to NSW and anyone already in NSW

If you’ve been to an affected area in the past 14 days, you must complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW.

If you’ve been to an area of concern in the past 14 days, you must complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW. After you’ve entered NSW, you must:

  • immediately travel to your place of residence
  • stay at your residence unless you have a reasonable excuse to leave, such as getting food, going to school or childcare, or exercising outdoors. You should stay at your residence until it has been 14 days since you visited the area of concern

If you’ve been to a place of high concern in the past 14 days, check the NSW COVID-19 concerns notice to find out if you are considered a casual contact or a close contact.

If you are a close contact, you must:

  • complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW
  • self-isolate at home or at another suitable place until it has been 14 days since you visited the place of high concern

If you are a casual contact, you must:

  • complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW
  • get tested immediately
  • self-isolate until you receive a negative test result

Non-residents planning to enter NSW

If you’ve been to an affected area in the past 14 days, you must complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW.

If you’ve been to an area of concern in the past 14 days, you must complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter or on entry to NSW. After you’ve entered NSW, you must:

  • immediately travel to your place of residence
  • stay at your residence unless you have a reasonable excuse to leave, such as getting food, going to school or childcare, or exercising outdoors. You should stay at your residence until it has been 14 days since you visited the area of concern

If you’ve been to a place of high concern in the past 14 days, check the NSW COVID-19 concerns notice to find out if you are considered a casual contact or a close contact.

If you are a close contact, you are not permitted to enter NSW. You must follow the rules of the state or territory that you are currently in.

If you are a casual contact, you may enter NSW, if you have been tested and your test returns a negative result. You must:

  • complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter NSW, or on entry
  • keep a copy of your test result to show it to an enforcement officer if needed

Additionally, if you’re planning to enter NSW or you’ve already arrived, follow the instructions for relevant states or territories that you’ve been to in the previous 14 days.

Travelling from NSW to other states and territories

People leaving NSW are subject to the border restrictions of any state or territory they plan to enter. For more information about travel restrictions in your state or territory, use the healthdirect Restriction Checker.

Transiting through NSW

You can transit through NSW to another location.

Travelling to Norfolk Island

Visitors and residents of Norfolk Island must apply for a Norfolk Island Entry Pass before travelling to the island. They must be prepared to take a COVID-19 test on arrival if the Norfolk Island Hospital and Residential Age Care (NIHRACS) advises. To apply for an Entry Pass, visit norfolkisland.gov.nf and search ‘Norfolk Entry Pass’.

There may be travel restrictions in place and you may need to self-isolate on arrival — depending on whether you have been in a hotspot in the past 14 days. For the latest information on travelling to Norfolk Island, please visit norfolkisland.gov.nf and click on ‘COVID update’.

International travellers

All other international travellers returning to Australia must quarantine for 14 days in designated accommodation at their own expense.

Travellers will be charged $3,000 for one adult, with additional costs for other occupants in the room:

  • Additional adults: $1,000 each
  • Additional children: $500 each
  • Child under 3: no additional cost

In NSW you will need to take a COVID-19 test on day 2, day 10, and any time you experience symptoms of COVID-19. If your test is negative, you'll be allowed to leave after your 14 days is complete — provided you don’t have any symptoms. If you refuse to take a test, you'll need to quarantine for a further 10 days.

Anyone who arrives from overseas who is exempt from hotel quarantine must quarantine at home for 14 days.

Returned travellers will also be contacted by NSW Health contact tracers 2 days after they leave hotel quarantine to check on their health and ask them get another COVID-19 test.

NSW has capped the number of international travellers that can arrive each day. This to ensure that hotel quarantine is manageable and effective. These caps are reviewed periodically, and you should contact your airline for more information.

If you're transiting through NSW to an international location

International transit passengers arriving into Australia can depart on another international flight if your transit time is less than 8 hours and you can stay 'airside' — in the transit zone. This is possible only if your bags have been checked through to your next destination. You don't need to apply for an exemption and are able to continue your journey to another country.

If you go through immigration, you will require an exemption.

If your departure flight is between 8 to 72 hours after the arrival flight, you'll be taken to a quarantine hotel to wait until your departing flight. An exemption must be approved.

If you're transiting through NSW to another location in Australia

If you arrive in NSW from overseas, you must go into quarantine for 14 days before continuing your journey to another state or territory. After this isolation period you can transit domestically and travel home.

Across Australia, states and territories have their own quarantine rules in place. Some require approval to travel across borders from NSW, or even a second 14-day isolation period when you arrive.

For more information, check the government website of the state or territory you wish to enter.

Face masks

  • Everyone in NSW must wear a face mask at all NSW airports and on domestic commercial flights that arrive in and depart NSW.
  • Children 12 years and under are exempt from wearing masks, but they’re encouraged to wear one where practicable.
  • Toddlers under 2 years of age and babies must not wear a mask, since they’re a choking and suffocation risk.

In NSW, you must wear a face mask on public transport and in all indoor non-residential settings. This includes in:

  • retail or business premises that provide goods or services to members of the public who attend the premises, including
    • supermarkets
    • shopping centres — excluding an indoor recreation facility in a shopping centre
    • bank branches and post offices
    • hairdressing, nail, beauty, tanning and waxing salons
    • spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours
    • betting agencies
  • any part of a licensed premises that’s used for the purposes of gaming, and gaming lounges
  • entertainment facilities
  • places of public worship being used for public worship or religious services
  • residential aged-care facilities
  • workplaces
  • gym classes or dance classes
  • indoor recreation facilities, unless you are doing strenuous exercise
  • major recreation facilities
  • COVID-19 Safe outdoor gatherings
  • controlled outdoor gatherings

You must wear a mask if you:

  • work a hospitality venue in NSW and
  • directly deal with members of the public

If you cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, you must carry either

  • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
  • a statutory declaration

Greater Sydney face-mask rules

People in Greater Sydney carry a face mask with them once they leave their home, and wear one in the following settings.

You must wear a face mask when you’re in a common indoor area of a residential building that is:

  • strata titled
  • community titled
  • company titled

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

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

You must also wear a face mask:

  • when you’re working outdoors
  • outdoors next to food and drink or retail premises — such as when you’re queuing outside a café
  • in indoor and outdoor areas of fresh food markets, such as the Sydney Markets at Flemington and the Sydney Fish Markets
  • at a COVID-19 Safe outdoor gathering
  • in a controlled outdoor public gathering

It’s recommended that you wear a face mask:

  • near other people you don’t live with, including your family, friends, neighbours or people you work with
  • walking in a busy street
  • near other people in a park or crowded place

For more information, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/face-mask-rules.

NSW hotspots

For more information about NSW hotspots, case locations and testing clinics — including public health advice — visit the ‘Hotspots and case locations in NSW’ page on the healthdirect COVID-19 Restriction Checker.

For more information on restrictions in New South Wales, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

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