COVID-19 Change to Visitation Rules 1 July 2020

The NSW Government has eased the following restrictions from today 1 July 2020. There are a number of changes applying to all of NSW. The new rules and how they apply to activities and businesses can be found in more detail here. Some notable changes include the following:

  • Adult community sport is now allowed to recommence (children’s sport was already allowed). Where activities involve more than 20 participants, the organiser must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues is now determined by the one person per 4 square metre rule with no upper limit. All activity must be seated only.
  • Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
  • The number of people in a public place of worship must not exceed one person per 4 square metres. People attending a religious service will be required to provide their name and contact details when they enter so that they can be used for contact tracing. The NSW Government expects that places of worship will comply with COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.
  • On compassionate grounds, restrictions on funerals have eased to allow the four square metre rule to apply (this applied from 14 June). The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral is the maximum number of people allowed on the premises, which is one person per 4 square metres. However, it is understood that up to 50 attendees can attend regardless of the 4 square metre rule, provided non-household contacts can maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance. People attending the service will be required to supply their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

All other restrictions including 20 guests inside the home and 20 for outside gatherings remain the same.

While not directly relevant to Lord Howe because international arrivals are required to quarantine before travelling further (including to Lord Howe Island), it is of interest to know that those travellers returning to Australia from overseas will be subject to mandatory testing (on the mainland). Swabs will be taken on Day 0-2 and Day 10 of their quarantine. Non-compliance with this regime will require and extended quarantine period.

It is understood that the NSW Government is also considering solutions for smaller venues in regional NSW where the 4m2 rule is not practical for small businesses.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged the community to be mindful of their own health as well as the health and well-being of their families and fellow citizens.

“We still need to be vigilant because we have to assume the virus hasn’t gone, and there is no vaccine or treatment on the immediate horizon,” Mr Hazzard said.

“So I encourage people to go about their daily lives, enjoy playing sport or a night out visiting friends but do it in a COVID safe way – maintain physical distancing, good hygiene and if you feel unwell stay home and get tested.”