The latest COVID-19 outbreaks have seen lockdowns introduced and/or restriction changes to many Australian states and territories, here’s what the current restrictions are across the country.

Note: These restrictions are correct as of 12.30pm, Monday, 16 August, 2021, given the volatile nature of COVID-19 and the delta variant, you should regularly check your local Government websites to obtain the most recent information.

Australian Capital Territory: The ACT is in lockdown. The lockdown restrictions came into effect from 5:00pm Thursday 12 August 2021, for 7 days.

The six essential reasons you can leave your home during this lockdown are:

  • to buy essential groceries and medicine
  • to access essential healthcare including in-home care
  • for essential work
  • to exercise outdoors for one hour per day in your region
  • to get a COVID-19 test
  • to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Essential retail will remain open for the duration of the lockdown. Canberrans are encouraged to buy only what they need, maintain social distancing and be considerate.

Anyone aged 12 years and over must wear a mask at all times upon leaving home, unless a valid exemption exists.

During the lockdown period all Canberrans are asked to stay at home and leave only for essential reasons.

Hospitality venues are closed except for takeaway and delivery. Nightclubs closed, but can trade as an off-licence venue. Bottleshops can remain open.

New South Wales: Stay at home orders apply to Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse. If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.

Limit your physical contact with people you do not live with. You must carry a face mask with you at all times and wear a face mask when required when you leave your home in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

A reasonable excuse is if you need to

  • obtain food or other goods and services
    • within 10km of your home, or within your local government area or cross into another local government area if it is within 10km of your home (limited to 5km from Monday 16 August 2021) and it is not a local government area of concern (unless the food or goods or services or their equivalent are not reasonably available locally)
    • for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
    • for vulnerable people
    • only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own). 
  • leave home to go to work if
  • leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise and take outdoor recreation within your local government area or, if you need to cross into another local government area, stay within 10km of your home (limited to 5km from Monday 16 August 2021) and do not enter a local government area of concern
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

You must carry proof of your address if you

  • have left your home for a reasonable excuse
  • are exercising outdoors or have left your home for outdoor recreation, or
  • have a reasonable excuse and are leaving Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

You must show your proof of address if asked by the NSW Police.

The following hospitality businesses in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, must close:

  • Food and drink premises, except for:
    • selling food or drink for people to eat or drink off site
    • selling food to be consumed in a person’s room if in a hotel or motel
    • if the premises are part of a shopping centre, selling food or drink for people to eat or drink outside of the shopping centre
  • Pubs and registered clubs, except for:
    • selling food or drinks for people to eat and drink off site and
    • providing accommodation, including allowing food and drinks to be consumed in a person’s room.
  • Micro-breweries or small distilleries holding a drink on-premises authorisation under the Liquor Act 2007, or cellar door premises — except to sell food or drinks for people to consume off premises.
  • Casinos, except for selling food or drinks for people to consume off site and providing accommodation, including allowing food and drinks to be consumed in a person’s room
  • Nightclubs.

All hospitality businesses in NSW must use the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in app to electronically register customers, staff and visitors — including maintenance workers and delivery drivers.

COVID-19 rules and restrictions for local government areas of concern in Greater Sydney: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith.

If you live in the Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, or some suburbs of Penrith local government areas, a reasonable excuse is if you need to

  • obtain food or other goods and services
    • for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
    • for vulnerable people
  • leave home to go to work if you 
    • cannot reasonably work from home and your workplace is in the same local government area or the 12 suburbs of the Penrith local government area you are living in or staying in or
    • are an authorised worker and you need to travel outside the local government area or the 12 suburbs of the Penrith local government area you are living or staying in to go to work
  • leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise or supervise a child aged 12 or under who is exercising or playing within 5km of your home. 
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

See the list of other reasonable excuses.

Full details on all restrictions for these areas of concern are listed here.

Regional and rural NSW

The stay at home rules apply to regional and rural locations in NSW.

These rules apply all parts of regional and rural NSW, including those parts of regional and rural NSW which were subject to stay at home rules before 5pm on 14 August 2021.  

The rules apply to: 
  
People who live in or are temporarily staying in regional and rural NSW. 

Start date: 5pm, Saturday 14 August 2021 

End date: 12.01am, Sunday 22 August 2021.  

Rules for when you leave your home

  • Stay within 10km of your home, or within your local government area. You can cross into another local government area if it is within 10km of your home (limited to 5km from Monday 16 August 2021) and it is not a local government area of concern (unless the food or goods or services or their equivalent are not reasonably available locally).
  • If travelling by a private vehicle (car), do not share a car with other people you do not live with.

The following places in the local government areas where the stay at home rules apply are directed to be closed to the public:

  • Pubs and registered clubs except for
    • selling food or beverages for people to consume off-site and
    • providing accommodation, including allowing food and drinks to be consumed in a person’s room.
  • Food and drink premises, except for
    • selling food or beverages for people to consume off-site
    • selling food to be consumed in a person’s room if in a hotel or motel
    • if the premises are part of a shopping centre, selling food or beverages for people to consume outside of the shopping centre
    • holding a funeral or memorial service that complies with the rules for funerals and memorial services.

Northern Territory: Parts of the Northern Territory have been put into lockdown today, after a new case involving a man in his 30s who tested positive, was discovered.

COVID-19: LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS: Effective from 12.01pm today, Monday 16 August, the below areas will enter a full lockdown for 72 hours:

  • City of Darwin
  • City of Palmerston
  • Litchfield Council
  • Wagait Shire
  • Belyuen Shire
  • Dundee
  • Bynoe
  • Charlotte Cox Peninsula
  • Municipality of Katherine including Tindal

Residents from affected areas must stay at home for the 72-hour lockdown period and people are only permitted to leave home for the following five reasons:

1. Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination

2. For essential goods and services, like groceries and medications

3. For work that is considered essential https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business…/essential-workers

4. For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5 km from your home with one other person or people from your house

5. To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.

Schools in affected areas will remain open only for the children of essential workers. For everyone in the lockdown area, masks must be worn if you leave your place of residence for one of these five reasons.

Your place of residence is where you live right now. Anyone caught breaching today’s directions – including not wearing a mask – faces a $5000 fine. Police will be establishing interception points to control travel in and out of these regions.

Territorians in the lockdown areas should not travel – including out of the Territory – unless it is for one of the five reasons. Non-Territorians are permitted to leave the Territory. It is an offence not to comply with CHO Directions and fines will be issued for those failing to follow lockdown directions.

Queensland: As of 4pm AEST Wednesday 11 August, until 4pm AEST Sunday 22 August, 2 Local Government Areas in Far North Queensland and 11 Local Government Areas in South East Queensland will be subject to continued restrictions. These LGAs are declared impacted areas and include the following LGAs:

  • Cairns Regional Council
  • City of Brisbane
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • City of Gold Coast
  • City of Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

Restrictions in these areas include:

  • Mask wearing at all times (including workplaces) except when eating or drinking, or exercising with your household or one other person.
  • Schools will reopen, with all staff and high school students wearing masks
  • 10 people in your home, including people who live there
  • 20 people at a wedding ceremony or funeral service
  • Businesses and venues with one person per four square metres indoors, one person per two square metres outdoors, or 50 percent capacity with seated, ticket allocations
  • Community sports and activities are restricted and, in some cases, not permitted.
  • Avoid travelling to regional Queensland
  • Visitors allowed to hospitals, aged care and disability accommodation

Businesses and venues in these areas are allowed to operate with the following restrictions:

  • Indoor – 1 person per 4m2 or 50 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating
  • Smaller venues up to 200m2 – 1 person per 2m2, up to a maximum of 50
  • Outdoor – 1 person per 2m2
  • Eating and drinking must be seated
  • No dancing except at weddings.

South Australia: South Australia is currently under Level 1 restrictions with some additional restrictions.

Level 1 restrictions:

  • 3 people per 4 square metres (3/4) density for seated activities.
  • Must take reasonable steps to maintain 1.5 m physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing required (other than in-home health services).
  • Retail requires an approved contact tracing system.
  • Where food and beverages are being served:
    • No communal food or beverage areas are permitted.

Additional restrictions:

  • 1 person per 2 square metres (1/2) density for non-seated activities
  • 1 person per 4 square metres (1/4) density for indoor fitness facilities
  • Seated food and beverage consumption only
  • COVID Management Plans required for events of more than 1,000 people
  • Shisha ban
  • Private activity cap: 10 (private activities at residential premises, including residents of residential premises)
  • Private activity cap: 50 (private activities at non-residential premises)
    Note: a private activity event (including a wedding or funeral) at a licensed premises is 3 people per 4 square metres.
  • Masks in high risk settings
  • Masks in personal care services (except for the person receiving the service, if necessary for the provision of the personal care service)
  • Masks in health care services (except for the person receiving the service, if necessary for the provision of the health care service)
  • Masks in passenger transport services
  • Masks in indoor fitness facilities (except while exercising)
  • Masks in shared indoor public places (except bridal parties during ceremonies)
  • Restrictions on dancing and singing

Tasmania: Hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafés, food courts, pubs, clubs, bars, RSLs and community clubs can accept up to 250 people per undivided indoor space and up to 1,000 people per undivided outdoor area at any one time.

The density limit at these premises is one person per two square metres.

Where the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies. For example, an indoor venue can’t hold more than 100 people if the floor space measures 200 square metres.

Staff, children and babies are included in the number and density limits.

Patrons can dance and drink while standing if the following is applied:

  • up to 100 people can dance and drink standing up at indoor venues
  • up to 250 people can dance and drink standing up at outdoor venues
  • for example, if a venue can accommodate 250 people based on the 2 square metres rule, you could have 50 people dancing, 50 people standing up to drink and 150 people sitting down to drink
  • Dine-in restaurant, café, pub and club patrons must provide contact details and time of entry of at least one member of their group for possible contact tracing purposes later.

You must practise physical distancing where practicable and observe good hygiene.

Restaurants can continue to offer delivery and takeaway services.

A range of businesses, venues, organisations and events must register for and use the free Check in TAS app to collect the contact details of patrons aged 16 years and older.

You must clearly display the Check in TAS QR code at all your premises or event entrances. You will receive this QR code after you have registered.

Tasmanians and visitors aged 16 years and older must check in to a range of businesses, venues, organisations and events with the Check in TAS app.

If you do not have an electronic device or are unable to use one, others in your group can check you in on their device or staff can check you in manually.

Victoria: The following LGAs of Metropolitan Melbourne are in lockdown: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham (except little River), Yarra, Yarra Ranges.

People in these areas cannot leave their home other than for one of the five following reasons:

  • shopping for necessary goods and services
  • caregiving or compassionate reasons, including medical care or to get a COVID-19 test
  • authorised work or permitted education
  • exercise (once a day for 2 hours)
  • to get a COVID-19 vaccination

Cafes and restaurants can open for takeaway and delivery only. No sit-down meals or drinks are allowed. The 5km limit does not apply to delivery drivers when delivering food as part of their work. 

You can only travel up to 5km from your home for food and drinks including takeaway. If the nearest shop is more than 5km away, you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 

Pubs, bars, clubs and nightclubs can offer takeaway or home delivery of food and alcohol. 

Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors whenever you leave your home.

Face masks do not need to be worn indoors or outdoors if you are working alone unless another person enters that indoor or outdoor space.

For regional Victoria there are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home but staying COVIDSafe remains important.

Residents of regional Victoria must not travel to Metropolitan Melbourne other than for permitted reasons. These include:

  • for authorised work or permitted education
  • to visit an intimate partner
  • for care and compassionate reasons
  • to access COVID-19 vaccination provided it is to the closest facility where vaccination can be obtained, or
  • to access necessary good and services provided this is to the closest facility where these can be obtained.

Shops are open with a density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres. While shopping you must adhere to the patron limits per shop to ensure everyone in the shop can keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

Restaurants and cafes can open for seated service. A density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres applies, with a maximum of 100 people in total (indoors and outdoors) per venue. Venues smaller than 100 sqm can have up to 25 people before the density limit applies.

Restaurants and cafes are no longer required to have a COVID Check-in Marshal at entrances to monitor patrons checking-in using the Service Victoria app.

Restaurants and cafes are required to conduct a residence check of patrons attending for seated service to ensure they do not reside in metropolitan Melbourne.

You must remain seated at your table unless you are ordering, using the toilets or entering and leaving the venue.

Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors when you are not eating or drinking, unless an exception applies.

Venues must ensure visitors use the Service Victoria QR code app to check in, regardless of the duration of the visit.

Western Australia: Although WA remains in a State of Emergency, there are no longer any capacity restrictions for venues and events.

Measures remain in place to keep these events safe:

  • Businesses require a COVID Safety Plan and must maintain a contact register.
  • Events with more than 500 patrons are required to complete a COVID Event Checklist or Plan.

Most businesses and venues are required to maintain a contact register. The WA Government’s SafeWA app is an easy way for people to check-in at businesses. A manual contact register must also be available.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of TheShout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both TheShout and Bars and Clubs.

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