COVID-19 Change to visitation rules

The NSW Government will ease the following restrictions from Friday 15 May. These changes apply to NSW including Lord Howe Island.

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
  • up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • weddings up to 10 guests
  • indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution


The following answers to some commonly asked questions is taken from the NSW Government’s website.

Does this mean business as usual?

We are at this point because everybody has followed health advice about physical distancinghand hygiene and staying home when sick.

In order to stay on top of the virus, we can’t let down our guard.

Do these changes apply to everyone?

Yes but you should not leave your home if you have even the mildest symptoms such as tiredness, runny nose or a sore throat. You should also have a conversation with the people you are spending time with to ensure they do not have symptoms.

Everyone must continue to practise physical distancing and good hand hygiene.

What is the advice for people over 70 or people with a pre-existing condition?

Extra care should be taken when visiting those over 70 or those with a pre-existing condition.

Maintain a physical distance of more than 1.5m wherever possible and consider using the available outdoor areas such as the backyard or veranda when visiting someone’s home.

Above all, do not visit even if you have the mildest symptoms.

Will there be Police enforcement/penalties for people who do not follow the rules?

Yes. It is extremely important that we all stay vigilant and maintain the rules around physical distancing. We cannot afford to be complacent.

NSW Police will continue to work with the community to help maintain the gains we have made together. 

Are there any limits to how many visitors you can have per day?

There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you don’t have more than 5 visitors at any one time.

If you are over 70 or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should limit the number of visitors and take care at all times.  

What does a public gathering of 10 mean? What can I do that I couldn’t before?

You will now be able to be outdoors in a public place with up to 10 people in total. This could be to exercise or a family picnic. It’s up to you, as long as no more than 10 people are gathering together.

Even within the gathering, you must exercise good physical distancing.

Does the public gathering rule about 10 people include children?

Yes, 10 people in total may gather in a public place outdoors.

Is local and regional travel allowed for holidays and recreation in NSW?

No. NSW is not yet ready to allow regional travel and holidays. 

It is important that as restrictions are eased we take precautions to prevent outbreaks in our regional and rural communities and so holidays and recreational travel are not allowed at this time.

Can I have a picnic?

Yes, so long as it is with up to 10 people in total.

Remember to maintain physical distancing and get tested and stay home if you are unwell. 

Can I train outdoors with up to 10 people?

Yes. Remember to maintain physical distancing.

Get tested and stay home if you are unwell. 

What are the rules about using outdoor equipment?

You can use outdoor exercise and playground equipment, but do so with caution.

Wash your hands before and after you use this equipment.

Assume the person who has used the equipment before you has the virus.

Do not go out if you’re sick and maintain physical distancing. Remember that the public gathering rule of no more than 10 still applies.

What are the rules for cafes and restaurants?

Cafes and restaurants can have up to 10 patrons seated at any one time and can continue to provide take away. They must also continue to apply the 4sqm rules and patrons who are not members of the same household must exercise 1.5m in physical distancing.

Do businesses have to open?

Each business can make decisions about what makes the most sense for them in light of the most recent easing of restrictions. It is up to the business.