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The current NSW restrictions can be confusing and a little unclear at times, particularly as we start to re-open from Monday, 11 October 2021.

I have been inundated with questions about what we can and cannot do under the current restrictions in NSW, so I have done my best to answer many of these questions below.

The information provided is not legal advice but publicly available information on the current restrictions across some Hunter region LGA's. If you are still unsure, please contact Services NSW directly 13 77 88 or visit their website here for specific clarification and advice.

This can be a particularly overwhelming time for all of us - please reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or distressed. You can find a list of available support here.

This page includes:

🟡 Useful resources

🟢 Information on current restrictions for fully vaccinated residents

🔴 Information on current restrictions for residents that are not fully vaccinated

🔵 Support available for NSW residents

For information for businesses please click here.

 

🟡 Resources

The NSW Government roadmap factsheet can be downloaded here.

For information on where to get tested please click here.

For detailed rules for those fully vaccinated click here.

For detailed rules for those not fully vaccinated please click here.

 

🟢 Restrictions for fully vaccinated residents

Q: Who is classed as fully vaccinated?

A: The NSW Government defines fully vaccinated people as those who have received 2 doses of a vaccine and that who have a medical exemption.

For information on medical exemptions please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I go to work?

A: Yes, the NSW Government has advised that those who are fully vaccinated can return to work from the 11th of October. Please check with your employer directly for when you can return to the workplace. 

The following businesses will still need to remain closed:

  • amusement centres, such as places to play billiards, pool, pinball machines or video games
  • play centres 
  • nightclubs 

For detailed advice on going to work please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I go to the shops?

A: Yes, non-critical retail will reopen with density limits for those that are fully vaccinated. 

Critical retail such as supermarkets and chemists will remain open for all. 

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I go to the pub/a restaurant?

A: Yes, hospitality venues will be re-opening with density limits, for up to 20 people per booking. 

Drinking will be limited to seated customers inside, but outdoor customer will be allowed to stand. 

Dancing is permitted for outdoor customers. 

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Do I have to wear a mask?

A: Masks are required in all indoor areas outside of your home. 

Masks are not required in outdoor areas, except for front-of-house hospitality staff.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Do I still have to check-in using the Services NSW app?

A: Yes, you are still required to use the Services NSW App whenever you enter a business.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Do I have to prove my vaccination status if asked?

A: Staff can ask you to prove your COVID-19 vaccination status and business can refuse entry to anyone who isn't fully vaccinated.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I have visitors over to my home?

A: Yes, fully vaccinated NSW Residents can have up to 10 fully vaccinated visitors to their home at any one time.

There are no restrictions on children under 12 visiting your residence. 

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I hold outside gatherings?

A: Outdoor gatherings can be held with up to 30 fully vaccinated people. 

There are no restrictions on children under 12 partaking in outdoor gatherings.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Where can I travel?

A: According to the NSW Government, residents in regional NSW can freely travel elsewhere in regional NSW. 

Travel to Sydney is not permitted outside of authorised workers, urgent maintenance and healthcare. 

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I go to the gym?

A: According to the NSW Government gyms, indoor recreations and sporting facilities can reopen with density limits and a maximum limit of 20 people in a class. 

The NSW Government has also recently updated this to include the opening of Indoor swimming pools for lessons, training and rehab activities.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I partake in community sport?

A: No, community sport is not yet permitted in NSW.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can my children return to school?

A: Children will return to School in a staggered approach from 18 October to 25 October 2021.

For more information please contact your school directly or consult the NSW Department of Education website here.

 

Q: Can I get my haircut? Can I go to a nail salon? 

A: Yes, according to the NSW Government personal services including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail  salons, tattoo and massage parlours can reopen with density limits for up to 5 clients.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I still work from home?

A: Employers must continue to allow all staff to work from home if reasonably practicable, including vaccinated staff.

For further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: How do I download my vaccine certificate?

1. Go to www.my.gov.au and log in or create an account (note: You will need an email address and mobile number to create an account.)

2. Once you're logged in, you will need to link your Medicare card to your account. You can call Medicare on 132 011 for help accessing your card.

3. Once your account is linked you will need to access Medicare under the 'your services' section of the website. From there you will need to location the "View immunisation history" button and you can then download a PDF of your certificate or if accessing it on your mobile you will be able to add it to your digital wallet.

For more information please check the Services Australia website here

 

🔴 Restrictions for residents that are not fully vaccinated

Q: I have only had one dose of the vaccine, or I am unvaccinated, has lockdown lifted for me?

A: No, if you are not fully vaccinated and live in NSW you are essentially under stay-at-home orders from Monday 11 October 2021, even if your region was not under restrictions prior to 11 October 2021. 

These stay at home orders will be lifted from when you are fully vaccinated or from December 1 2021.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Where can I get vaccinated?

A: You can find your nearest vaccination clinic by completing the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker here.

 

Q: Can I bring forward my second vaccination?

A: In some cases you can, if you are interested in bringing forward your second vaccination dose please consult with your GP directly.

 

Q: Can I go to work?

A: The NSW Government has advised that those returning to work on the 11th of October will be required to have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and must be fully vaccinated by 1 November.

These restrictions apply to, but are not limited to, the following industries:

  • Hospitality venues, such as cafes, restaurants, or pubs
  • Entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, and music or concert halls
  • Places of public worship, such as churches, mosques, or synagogues
  • Places where a wedding, funeral, or memorial service is held 
  • Hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours
  • Indoor recreation facilities, such as gyms, indoor pools, squash club, tennis centre, bowling alley, or ice rink 
  • Public swimming pools in indoor areas that are used to conduct swimming lessons, lap swimming, squad training and rehabilitation activities
  • Retail premises other than critical retail premises

Those who work in critical retail and other critical industries can continue to go to work, regardless of their vaccination status.

For detail advice on vaccination requirements please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: What is a reasonable excuse to leave your home?

A: According to the NSW Health website, a reasonable excuse to leave your home includes if you need to:

  • obtain food or other goods and services locally
  • exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your home (5km from Monday, 16 August 2021)
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I have visitors to my home?

A: According to the NSW Government, you cannot visit another person’s place of residence if you are not fully vaccinated outside of the following reasons:

You can visit someone at their home, and have someone visit your home for the purposes of:

  • work
  • helping someone move house 
  • childcare 
  • giving effect to new or existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children or siblings for children who do not live in the same household as a parent or sibling of the child  
  • because of an emergency or to avoid an injury, illness or risk of harm 
  • to view or inspect property to lease or purchase it, but only in compliance with specific rules on property inspections 
  • caring or compassionate reasons.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I still send my children to school?

A: Yes, the NSW Department of Education has said that children of non-vaccinated parents/carers will be allowed to go to school regardless of their parents/carers vaccination status.

For more information please contact your school directly or consult the NSW Department of Education website here.

 

Q: Can I go to the shops?

A: According to NSW Health, the following businesses are deemed 'critical retail' and will remain open for non-vaccinated people.

  • supermarkets
  • grocery stores
  • shops that mainly sell food or drinks, like butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable shops, and delicatessens
  • kiosks
  • petrol stations
  • banks and financial institutions
  • hardware and building supplies
  • landscaping material supplies
  • rural supplies
  • shops that mainly sell:
    • pet supplies
    • newspapers, magazines or stationary (for example, newsagents)
    • office supplies
    • maternity or baby supplies
    • medical or pharmaceutical supplies (for example, chemists)
    • alcohol (for example, liquor stores)
  • post offices
  • garden centres and plant nurseries
  • vehicle hire businesses but not businesses that sell vehicles
  • shops that mainly carry out repairs of mobile phones
  • laundromats and drycleaners.

For any other retail premises, or a business that provides goods or services, you can only visit these premises if the business chooses to offer Click-and-Collect.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I get essential groceries delivered to me?

A: Major supermarkets have home delivery services and click and collect services available in most regions. 

Woolworths and Coles also have a priority assistance program to assist those who are unable to shop in-store. 

Apply for Woolworth priority assistance.

Apply for Coles priority assistance.

Shop online at Woolworths.

Shop online at Coles.

Shop on line at IGA.

 

Q: Can I get my haircut? Can I go to a nail salon? 

A: No, according to the NSW Government those not fully-vaccinated cannot attend personal services including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail  salons, tattoo and massage parlours

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I exercise?

A: The NSW Government has advised that if you are not fully vaccinated you can participate in a gathering for exercise with one other person or with your household. You will not be able to visit gyms or recreation faculties.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.


Q: When do I have to wear a mask?

A: Masks are required in all indoor areas outside of your home. 

Masks are not required in outdoor areas, except for front-of-house hospitality staff.

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

Q: Can I get vaccinated if I don't have a Medicare card?

A: Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of Medicare or visa status.

According to the Australian Government, If you don’t have a Medicare card, or are not eligible for Medicare, you can get your free vaccination at:

• a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic
• state or territory vaccination clinic
• and community pharmacies that are administering COVID-19 vaccines.

General practices are still able to administer COVID-19 vaccines but cannot bill for the service (Medicare or otherwise).

Further information please check the NSW Government website here.

 

🔵 Support available for NSW residents

Q: Can I get support if I have lost work due to the current restrictions?

A: Unfortunately, the Federal Government has stopped automatic COVID-19 disaster payments in NSW. This means that those receiving these payments will be required to re-apply each week if they still need assistance. These payments will be tapered off altogether when we reach 80% double dose. 

Those ineligible for the COVID-19 support payment will need to apply for JobSeeker. For information on JobSeeker click here.

Information on these changes can be found on the Services Australia website here

 

Q: Can I get support if I have been forced to self-isolate due to being in contact with someone who has COVD-19?

A: Yes, if you have been directed to isolate by NSW Health you can still claim the pandemic leave disaster payment 

Information on these Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment can be found on the Services Australia website here

 

Australia wide:

For general information about COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout.

Take a vaccination eligibility test, to find out if you're eligible for your COVID-19 vaccination.

If you have any other questions, please contact me and my office will do what they can to assist you.