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Sydney Covid restrictions: New mask, travel and visitor rules explained

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Can I go on holiday? Where do I need to wear a mask? Can my wedding go ahead? What is ‘essential travel’? Here are the answers.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today introduced new restrictions for Sydney for one week to protect the people of NSW from the evolving Covid-19 outbreak.

The restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Here is what you need to know.

Can I still travel to regional NSW for the school holidays?

Not if you live or work in seven hotspot local government areas. NSW residents who live or work in City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra local government areas, can’t travel outside Metro Sydney for non-essential reasons.

When and where do I need to wear a mask?

Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including your workplace, and at organised outdoor events. The rule applies until July 1 unless extended.

A person may remove their mask if they are eating or drinking.

What can you do at weddings and funerals?

The one person per four square meter rule will apply at weddings and funerals, both indoors and outdoors. At weddings, only the bridal party can dance and they must not exceed 20 people. No drinking while standing up and masks are compulsory.

What constitutes essential travel?

New rules for what is “essential travel” have not yet been announced, however during the initial pandemic lockdown, NSW residents were allowed to leave home for 16 reasons:

  • Obtaining food or goods or services for personal needs of the household (including pets) and for vulnerable persons.
  • Travelling for the purposes of work if the person cannot work from home.
  • Travelling for the purpose of attending childcare (including picking up or dropping another person at childcare).
  • Travelling to attend school or an educational institution if the person cannot learn from home.
  • Exercising.
  • Obtaining medical care or supplies or health supplies or fulfilling carer’s responsibilities.
  • Attending a wedding or a funeral (as per new ministerial guidelines).
  • Moving to a new place of residence (including a business relocating) or between different places of residence or inspecting a potential new residence.
  • Providing care and assistance to a vulnerable person or emergency assistance.
  • Donating blood.
  • Undertaking any legal obligation.
  • Accessing public services (whether provided by government, private provider or non-government organisation) including social services, employment services, domestic violence services, mental health services, or services provided to victims such as victims of crime.
  • For children who do not live in the same household as their parents, siblings, or one of their parents or siblings, to continue access/contact between parents, siblings and children.
  • For a person who is a priest, minister or member of a religious order going to a place of worship or to provide pastoral care.
  • Avoiding injury or illness or to escape risk or harm
  • For emergencies or compassionate reasons.

What is ‘Metropolitan Sydney’?

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard do not want residents moving outside ‘Metropolitan Sydney’ but did not specify the exact boundaries.

NSW Health has issued a Public Health Order on Wednesday night which defines Metropolitan Sydney as Greater Sydney but excluding Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, and Wollondilly.

“Metropolitan Sydney area means the Greater Sydney Region within the meaning of the Greater Sydney Commission Act 2015 except for the following local government areas (Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Wollondilly),” the order said.

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