Here's What You Can and Can't Do Under Sydney's Stay-at Home Conditions
Four Sydney Local Government Areas are going into lockdown — here’s what you need to know.
On Friday, June 25, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick Local Government Areas in Sydney will be placed under stay-at-home orders for a week in a bid to stop the spread of Sydney's latest COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak began on Wednesday, July 16, and has seen case numbers grow daily — including 11 new cases yesterday and 17 so far today. The list of exposure sites has been expanding rapidly as well.
The stay-at-home conditions are scheduled to start at 11.59pm tonight, Friday, June 25, and run until at least the same time on Friday, July 2. They'll apply to people who live in the four LGAs — and also to anyone who works within them as well.
The restrictions include the reinstatement of the four reasons to leave your home, which should be familiar from 2020. Still, 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, June 25.
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 who either live or work in the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick LGAs can only leave home for work and study if you can't do it from your house, for essential shopping, for exercise — outdoors in groups of ten or fewer — and for compassionate reasons, which includes emergency medical treatment.
Otherwise, everyone must stay at home. However, there are no restrictions on when you can go shopping or go out for exercise, and there's no curfew.
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. There are also no limits on how many people can leave the house.
And, time-wise, there are no limits on how long you can leave for permitted work or caregiving.
Why do the stay-at-home orders apply to folks who work in the four LGAs, but don't live there?
Even if you don't live in the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick, you'll still be under stay-at-home conditions if you work in any of the four LGAS.
Wondering why? Good question. The Premier said that "in this outbreak, we're seeing too many examples of workers coming in from other areas, getting infected in the workplace but then passing on the infection to multiple clients — and that is, without being specific, it hasn't just happened in one instance, it's happened in multiple instances."
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?
How far can I travel?
Residents of the four Sydney LGAs can only travel within the metropolitan Sydney area — and only for one of the four permitted reasons. Other than that, you can't venture beyond the city limits.
Residents of the Bayside, Canada Bay and Inner West LGAs won't be placed under a stay-at-home order, but they also can't leave the metropolitan Sydney area as part of restrictions implemented on Wednesday, June 23. Those restrictions will also stay in place until at least 11.59pm tonight on Friday, July 2.
Can I see friends and family?
No, you can't have generally 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 order.
That said, you are allowed to exercise outdoors with up to ten people — and there's no rule requiring those nine other folks other than yourself to all come from your household.
Partners who live separately are allowed to visit each other at home, though. "We always have some components which are around intimate partner visits, and that will extend in this circumstance," said NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
Can I drive to a park to exercise?
Yes, but only to exercise — not to picnic or to do anything else.
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.
Can I go to the beach?
Again, yes, but only to exercise — not to simply hang out or to do anything else. 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?
In short, no. Since residents of the four Sydney LGAs can only travel within the metropolitan Sydney area — and only for one of the four permitted reasons — you can't head out of town for a holiday.
The same applies to residents of the Bayside, Canada Bay and Inner West LGAs, with restrictions implemented on Wednesday, June 23 also forbidding folks in those areas from leaving the metropolitan Sydney area.
Can I road trip to an out-of-town beach for a day?
Again, no. The ban on leaving the metropolitan Sydney area applies in all circumstances, including day trips.
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 is only permitted outdoors, so visiting an indoor gym isn't allowed under the stay-at-home conditions.
"For a business like a gym in those four Local Government Areas, we're saying only exercise outdoors up to groups of ten. That means that any gyms or indoor exercise places won't be open," said the Premier.
Can I go shopping?
For groceries and other essentials, yes. Supermarkets, food and liquor stores, and pet stores will be open. You must shop for essentials only within the metropolitan Sydney area if you can.
How about to a restaurant or cafe?
You can pick up takeaway from a hospitality venue located within the metropolitan Sydney area, but dine-in service is off the cards.
"Clearly, if you are a business in those four Local Government Areas, unfortunately, unless you're providing essential food and services — that is take away food and services or grocery services of that nature — we don't expect those businesses to remain open in the next week," said the Premier.
Can I buy alcohol for the weekend from a bottle shop?
Yes, you can — bottle shops will remain open.
Can I go out for a takeaway coffee?
Yes, you can — but you won't be able to sit and sip while you're out.
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 June 25, 2021 by Concrete Playground