Latest NSW update: you can drive home to isolate

Here is the latest from NSW Health 9am 27 June

For those already up there caught out by the lockdown, you can go home – and, NO, yo can’t go skiing (our reporters on the ground say apparently plenty of people still are which is totally selfish):

If you are in the snowfields already you may return home directly and complete your stay at home order. If doing so you should travel directly home; minimise unnecessary stops; avoid busy locations; use contactless payment, and wash/ sanitise your hands regularly.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Greater Sydney) Order (No2) 2021 has been repealed and replaced with the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021. Under the new Order, stay at home requirements have been extended to all LGAs in the Greater Sydney area which includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. There are also additional restrictions across NSW.

These are “Stay-at-home” restrictions, which is not the same as self-isolation – so a family group can continue to stay in the same room.

Stay at Home Restrictions

Persons covered by the Order cannot leave their place of residence without a reasonable excuse. The reasonable excuses mirror those in earlier restrictions and include:

  • obtaining food, travelling to attend essential work or education (where it is not possible to do at home);
  • exercise outdoors in groups of no more than 10 – this does not include exercise that requires the use of common facilities such as shelters, T-bars, chairlifts, and public toilets;
  • medical and caring reasons – including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination;
  • family and carer obligations and compassionate reasons, including where 2 people are in a relationship but do not necessarily live together;

Taking a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

  • The Order will apply to any person whose residence or usual place of work is in Greater Sydney (unless they have not been in Greater Sydney during the previous 14 days) and now also includes anyone who has been in Greater Sydney since the beginning of 21 June. Those who have left Greater Sydney will not need to self-isolate or quarantine, but will simply need to comply with the stay at home restrictions (wherever they are);
  • There are similar restrictions on entering Greater Sydney with a similar list of reasonable excuses;
  • People in Greater Sydney must not participate in public outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people. The limit does not apply to a range of gatherings, including gatherings of persons in the same household, in emergencies, where a person is fulfilling a legal obligation and where the gathering facilitates a move to a new residence or business premises;
  • To support the restrictions certain premises are closed. This covers the same range of premises as previous restrictions, including food and drink premises and pubs (except for take-away), entertainment and indoor recreation facilities, spas, nail and beauty salons, as well as hairdressers. It also prevents open for inspections and auctions occurring for the duration of the Order;
  • There are now also additional restrictions on community sport which will not be allowed in Greater Sydney for the life of the Order;
  • The Order allows people to attend funerals provided where are no more than 100 persons present, including the person conducting the service;
  • The Order allows people to attend weddings, but only where the wedding takes place until the end of 27 June 2021.

Regional areas

The following restrictions will now apply to regional areas:

  • Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;
  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events-  This includes shared accommodation facilities such as hotels and lodges;
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
  • Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs;
  • Dancing will be allowed at weddings, but only for the wedding party (no more than 20 people); 
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
  • Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;

The Order has commenced and will be in place until midnight 9 July, unless extended or repealed earlier.

This order applies to all people who’ve been in Greater Sydney and is irrespective of whether you have been vaccinated or tested negative in the past 14 days.

If you are in the snowfields already you may return home directly and complete your stay at home order. If doing so you should travel directly home; minimise unnecessary stops; avoid busy locations; use contactless payment, and wash/ sanitise your hands regularly.

Just when things were looking up..