Premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian has announced a two-week lockdown starting at 6pm tonight, Saturday 26 June.
The premier said that the two week long lockdown is needed because of the transmissibility of the Delta variant, but said that "if there is any massive improvement ahead" of the end of the lockdown "we'll evaluate that."
The lockdown is effective for all of greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong and will remain in place until midnight on Friday 9th July.
This supersedes the lockdown already in effect for those who live in or whose usual place of work is in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and City of Sydney councils.
Residents are not permitted to leave their homes unless it is for one of four essential reasons
From 11.59pm on Friday 25 June, anyone who resides in the four local government areas, or whose regular place of work is located in these areas, cannot leave their homes unless it is for one of the four essential reasons:
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
- Medical care or compassionate needs
- Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer
- Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home
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.
What businesses can open in lockdown?
Food businesses can open for takeaway only. Supermarkets and grocery stories will be open throughout the lockdown. Nightclubs, non-essential retail, gyms and others must close. As for the precise definition on what those essential businesses are, we are waiting for clarification from NSW Health.
Can weddings go ahead?
Weddings before Monday 28 June are allowed to proceed, provided they are Covid-safe, and obey distancing rules. From Monday, for the duration of the lockdown, weddings can’t take place.
What about funerals?
Funerals can continue to take place, including in the locked-down councils, with 100 or less people. Attending a funeral is a reasonable excuse to leave home.
Can I exercise?
Exercise is allowed outdoors in groups of no more than 10 people.
Gladys Berejiklian said: “We appreciate during the school holidays, this could be the only time that people are able to gather outside and in no more than groups of ten. In the regions that we’ve outlined, in no more than groups of ten, you’re able to gather outside for the recreational exercise. And of course, when you are outdoors in groups of ten, make sure that you maintain a good social distance.”
Can I have visitors to my house?
You cannot have visitors if you live in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong.
In regional NSW, visitors to households have been limited to only five guests – including children.
What are the restrictions at hospitality and entertainment venues?
Outside of greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, the one person per 4 sq metre rule has been re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals. Berejiklian said people shouldn’t cancel their events, but should reassess attendance numbers.
Drinking while standing at indoor venues is also not allowed and outdoor seated events are limited to only 50% seated capacity.
Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is also banned, and dancing is not allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs. However, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).
Can I travel interstate?
People in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong cannot travel.
Other states and territories have closed their borders to parts of NSW. Each state and territory is updating guidance on travel rules individually:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
What about public gatherings?
Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 10 people in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong.
Outside of the areas in lockdown, up to 200 people can gather in an outdoor public place such as a park, reserve, beach, garden or public space.
Outdoor seated events are limited to 50% seated capacity.
Update to face mask rules
You must wear a face mask in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour when:
- In all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, in gym and dance classes, and at organised outdoor events
- Using public transport, hire vehicles, taxis and rideshare services
- Waiting for public transport at a bus or light rail stop, train station or ferry wharf.
In regional NSW, you must wear a mask in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, in gym and dance classes, and at organised outdoor events
Other restrictions for the rest of NSW
- Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn).
- Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced.
- Nightclubs must still be Covid safe, while weddings, funerals and memorial services must have and comply with a Covid-19 safety plan.
- When a religious service is held in a place of public worship, the premises must have and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan for a place of worship.
See the full list of what you can do in NSW at the NSW Health website.