Here's What You Can and Can't Do During Sydney's Tightened Lockdown
The lockdown rules are changing — here’s what you need to know.
On Friday, July 9, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that lockdown rules will be changing for residents of the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions. These areas have been under stay-at-home conditions for a fortnight now, and the lockdown has already been extended until at least Friday, July 16 — but in response to rising COVID-19 cases numbers, tighter restrictions are now coming into effect as well.
The new requirements will start at 5pm today, Friday, July 9, and haven't been given an end date. They enforce stricter limits on how far from home you can venture to exercise, what you can do when you're out of the house and who you can spend time with — all while still abiding by the four familiar reasons to leave your home.
We've all been through this before, but a few new requirements are being introduced this time around, in an effort to stop the spread. The list of things you can and can't do can be a bit overwhelming, so we've broken it down for you.
This information is correct as of Friday, July 9.
For what reasons am I allowed to leave the house?
Remember those four reasons announced back in March 2020? Yes, that long ago. Well, they've been reintroduced. So, folks in the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions can only leave home for work and study if you can't do it from your house, for essential shopping, for exercise and for compassionate reasons, which includes emergency medical treatment.
Otherwise, everyone must stay at home. "The strongest message is: do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to," said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian at her daily press conference on Friday, July 9.
There are also limits on what you can do and where you can go if you're leaving the house to exercise. You can go outdoors in groups of two or fewer, or with your household — and you have to exercise within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live.
If you need supplies, only one person from each household is allowed to go out shopping each day to buy essential items.
For how long can I leave the house?
There are no limits on how long you can leave the house, including to exercise, or to shop for groceries and other essentials. And, time-wise, there are no limits on how long you can leave for permitted work or caregiving either.
That said, browsing at the shops is now prohibited, and the Premier has advised people in lockdown to ask themselves if they really need to go out.
"Whether you are in a supermarket or anywhere else buying essential items, have a think before you leave the home: 'can I get online? Do I need to leave the house to a shopping?' If you are leaving the house, you have to plan your visit. Think: 'what do I need to get and how can I get those essential items without coming into contact with a lot of people?'" said the Premier.
Is there a curfew?
No, there is no curfew. You are allowed out of your house at any hour as long as it is for one of the four permitted reasons.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes, masks are compulsory unless you're at home.
That means that you need to wear them in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces — if you can't work from home, that is. They're also required on public transport, and while waiting for public transport; in retail and hospitality; in licensed premises; and at controlled outdoor gatherings.
The full list of rules — and exemptions to those rules — is available on the NSW Government website.
How far can I travel?
If residents in lockdown leave home for one of the permitted essential reasons, they're asked to stay within their local area. "Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it," the rules state.
If you're heading out of the house to exercise, you can only do so within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live. You're also not permitted to carpool with anyone outside of your household when it comes to exercising, or in general.
Can I see friends and family?
No, you can't have visitors to your home. That isn't one of the four permitted reasons to leave the house, either. And, you can't gather with friends and family in a public place under the stay-at-home orders.
In her latest press conference, the Premier clarified the rules around how many people you can have to your house — which is zero. "Nobody is allowed into your house — nobody outside your household is allowed into your house. The only exception is if you are receiving care by people, one person, dropping off essential goods or for health reasons or exceptional circumstances," she said. "But nobody should be coming into your home. Nobody out of your household. And household means whoever lives there normally."
That said, you are allowed to exercise outdoors with up to two people in a group — and there's no rule requiring that other person to come from your household. You can also exercise outdoors with members of your household.
Partners who live separately are allowed to visit each other at home, though, which is covered under visits for caring and compassionate reasons.
Can I drive to a park to exercise?
Yes, but only to exercise — not to picnic or to do anything else. You also must stay within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live.
Can I take my pet out for a walk in the park?
Yes, you can take your dog for a walk as it's considered exercise. Again, you must stay within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live.
Can I go to the beach?
Again, yes, but only to exercise — not to simply hang out, sunbathe or to do anything else. And, only if it is within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live.
You can also only go with just one other person, or with members of your household.
During Sydney's last lockdown, many local beaches closed, so you'd be best to check your local council website before heading out.
Can I go on a holiday to a coastal/regional town?
No, you cannot. That is not one of the permitted reasons to leave the house.
Can I road trip to an out-of-town beach for a day?
Again, no. You must stay home unless you have a permitted reason — and that's not on the list.
How about driving to my holiday house?
Once again, no. Spending time at a holiday house isn't classed as one of the four essential reasons for leaving your home.
Can I go to a gym?
Exercise in public is only permitted outdoors — and gyms are currently closed under the lockdown conditions.
Can I go shopping?
For groceries and other essentials, yes. Retail stores, including supermarkets, food and liquor stores, and pet stores, all remain open.
That said, only one person from each household is now allowed to go out shopping each day — and only to buy essential items.
How about to a restaurant or cafe?
You can pick up takeaway from a hospitality venue, but dine-in service is not permitted. Deliveries are recommended.
Can I attend a funeral?
Yes, however funerals will limited to ten mourners from Sunday, July 11.
Can I attend a wedding?
No, weddings are not permitted.
For more information on what you can and can't do in NSW, head to the NSW Government website.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.
Published on July 09, 2021 by Concrete Playground