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Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions (NSW)

Written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts. She also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the College of Law in Victoria. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.

From 1 June 2020, the Stage One COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales will be relaxed. The restrictions have been in place since May and were imposed under orders by the Health Minister under the New South Wales Public Health Act 2010. The changes coming in on 1 June are the second stage in a three-sep plan for reopening Australia announced by the Prime Minister last month.

Indoor gatherings

Up to five visitors may be present in a household at one time, including adults and children. Overnight visits are allowed.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs in New South Wales will be permitted to serve up to 50 dine-in customers or one customer per four square metres at a time, as well as providing take away options. A maximum of ten people applied to each group booking, with the exception of weddings, which are allowed to have up to 20 guests and funerals, which may have up to 50 mourners.

Beauty salons may open with a maximum of 10 customers in the venue at a time, or one person per four square metres, including staff.  Libraries, galleries and museums may open, with a maximum of one patron per four square metres. Indoor cinemas and theatres must remain closed.

Religious services may be held with a maximum of 50 people in attendance.

Outdoor gatherings

Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted. Outdoor sporting competitions are permitted with a maximum of 10 participants including players, spectators, referees and coaches.

Markets are to remain closed (except food and drink stalls).

Outdoor pools may open with a maximum of 10 people in attendance at a time.

Travel

Travel is permitted within New South Wales. Caravan parks and campgrounds may reopen.

Education and childcare

Schools, universities, TAFEs and childcare facilities in New South Wales may now open.

Owner and occupiers of premises

Under the new COVID-19 restrictions, the rules affecting owners and occupiers of premises remain in place. They must not allow their premises to be used for:

  • An outdoor gathering of more than 500;
  • An indoor gathering of more than 100;
  • A gathering where the amount of space is insufficient to ensure four square metres space around each person.

This restriction does not apply to essential gatherings, such as gatherings at hospitals, airports, prisons, emergency services, parliament, courts and tribunals, aged and disability care facilities, shops, hotels, office, farms, factories, warehouses or schools and universities or other educational or child care facilities.

Quarantine

The Public Health (COVID-19 Quarantine) Order 2020 came into force on the 17 March 2020 and will continue until 15 June 2020. While the order is in force, any person arriving in New South Wales within 14 days of travelling overseas must be quarantined for 14 days.

The person must immediately proceed to a place suitable for quarantine and remain there for the quarantine period except:

  • To obtain medical care or supplies;
  • Because of an emergency;
  • In circumstances where the person can avoid close contact with other persons.

A person in quarantine must not allow another person into the premises unless the other person usually resides at the premises, is also undergoing quarantine there or enters for medical or emergency purposes.

This restriction does not apply to flight crew or to those who arrive in a NSW airport and depart from the airport without leaving the airport.

Self-isolation

The Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order 2020 came into force on 26 March 2020 and will continue to be in force until 23 June 2020. Under the order, any person diagnosed with COVID-19 must travel directly to a place suitable to reside in or if determined necessary, to a hospital and remain there until medically cleared.

The person must not leave the place except:

  • To obtain medical care or supplies;
  • In an emergency.

The person must not permit others to enter the place unless:

  • The other person usually lives at the place or is also complying with a direction under the order;
  • The entry is for medical or emergency purposes;
  • The entry is to deliver food or other essential items.

The Minister may grant an exemption from this order if necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of the public.

Penalties

Non-compliance with any of the above orders is a criminal offence and can result in the following penalties.

For an individual:

  • A fine of up to $11,000; or
  • Imprisonment for up to six months; or
  • Both; plus
  • A further fine of up to $5,500 for each day that the offence continues.

The NSW police can also issue on-the-spot fines of $1000 for an offence.

For a corporation:

  • A fine of up to $55,000; plus
  • A further fine of $27,500 for each day the offence continues.

If you require legal advice or representation in relation to COVID-19 restrictions or in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

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