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COVID-19 NSW lockdown: Restrictions and mask rules explained

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A COVID-19 lockdown has been announced for Greater Sydney including Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains. Here's how the restrictions affect you.

The New South Wales government has announced a lockdown, effective immediately, for anyone living or working in Greater Sydney. This includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, Shellharbour Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney.

The lockdown will continue for at least one week, with a tentative end date of Friday, 2 July at 11:59pmAEST.

The lockdown applies to anyone who has visited the areas above in the past 2 weeks.

This follows new COVID-19 restrictions introduced on Wednesday to Greater Sydney which includes a ban on non-essential travel and the compulsory wearing of masks in all indoor non-residential settings.

The lockdown is in response to more than 30 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 over the past week. If you live in the Greater Sydney area, the lockdown will affect you.

Here are all the new restrictions you need to know about.

NSW new COVID-19 travel restrictions

The following areas are going into lockdown until Friday, 2 July at 11:59pm AEST:

  • Woollahra
  • Waverley
  • Randwick
  • City of Sydney
  • Blue Mountains
  • Central Coast
  • Wollongong
  • Shellharbour
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Bayside

"If you live or work in [these] local government areas, you need to stay at home unless absolutely necessary," New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Necessary reasons include working (if you are unable to work from home), education (if remote learning is not an option), exercising outside (limited to groups of 10) and if you need to provide care or compassion to a relative.

Leaving the home to buy essential goods or services is also permitted. Social gatherings should therefore be postponed or abandoned. (You can see the full list of reasonable excuses to leave home on the NSW Government website.)

What businesses can stay open?

The lockdown applies to all non-essential businesses. This means any business that does not provide essential foods or services will need to close for 1 week, including indoor gyms, bars, public swimming pools, hairdressers, cinemas and nightclubs.

NSW COVID-19 new mask rules

The New South Wales government has announced new, tougher restrictions for wearing masks. Masks are now compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings and organised outdoor events. This includes the following:

  • workplaces
  • public transport (including taxis, rideshare services and while waiting for public transport)
  • supermarkets
  • shopping centres
  • entertainment facilities
  • banks and post offices
  • gyms and fitness centres
  • hairdressing, nail, beauty, tanning and waxing salons
  • spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours
  • betting agencies
  • places of worship
  • residential aged care facilities
  • organised outdoor events

The new mask rules apply to all of NSW, not just Greater Sydney.

The 1 person per 4 square metre rule has also been re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals.

If you're not sure what type of face mask to wear or need help finding an online seller, our Coronavirus Face Mask Guide is here to help. You can also see sites that sell face masks in Sydney and New South Wales below:

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New public transport restrictions

In addition to mandatory mask wearing, public transport in Greater Sydney will be reintroducing capacity limits. Commuters will once again need to sit in seats that have a green dot. Other seats must be left empty.

All COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney

While the restrictions introduced on Wednesday mainly relate to masks and travel, there are other rules you also need to be aware of. Here are all the COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney announced by the New South Wales government yesterday:

New COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney

  • If you are in Greater Sydney, you must comply with the stay at home rules - this means you cannot visit other residents without a reasonable excuse. Visitors to households for other areas of NSW 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.
  • 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. However, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people).
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn).
  • The 1 person per 4 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.
  • Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced.
  • If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

How long will the new restrictions last?

The new restrictions are set to last until Friday 2 July 2021 at 11:59pm AEST. Until this time you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in the specified indoor areas and obey the restrictions listed above.

Remember, if you have visited any locations where cases have arisen you must self-isolate and get tested for coronavirus.

NSW travel restrictions frequently asked questions

Latest COVID-19 guides and news

Looking for a new face mask? Take a look at our round-up of the top face masks we've tested or see where you can buy face masks online.

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