As of 19 October 2021

By 9am 25 October 2021, any person who provides disability services to a person must have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 9am 29 November 2021.

From 11 October 2021, disability day programs may recommence in line with restrictions as detailed in the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 and practising COVID safe measures.

From 11 October two people (aged 12 years and over) per day will be permitted to visit a resident in a residential disability care facility. They must be fully vaccinated unless they are providing essential care or for an end of life visit.  To receive a visitor a resident must be fully vaccinated.

Further lifting of restrictions is expected to occur when NSW reaches the 80% vaccination target and again on the 1 December. The latest updates are available on the Roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions

Greater Sydney includes Shellharbour, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and Central Coast.

There are close and casual contact locations in Greater Sydney and also in regional NSW areas. To view locations please see Latest COVID-19 case locations and alerts in NSW.

Victoria is considered an affected area and there are close and casual contact places of high concern

There are close and casual contact venues in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Tasmania.

There are active cases in New Zealand with contact tracing locations of interest.

Commencing disability day programs

On 11 October 2021 the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (Order) commenced, lifting the stay at home orders for all of NSW. In line with the new Order, disability day programs may recommence across all of NSW.

In arranging activities, day program providers should maintain COVID-19 safe practices including:

  • encouraging all residents, staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated
  • ensuring everyone wears a mask when indoors, unless they are exempted
  • encouraging regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people
  • have COVID-19 safe plans in place

Staff and participants should not attend if they have any COVID-19 symptoms

Where participants are not fully vaccinated providers are encouraged to continue to provide flexible options including online service delivery, individual activities and avoid group interactions unless the participants are from the same household.


From 11 October 2021 visitation at a residential disability care facility will be permitted with the following conditions:

  • Two visitors aged 12 years and over per resident per day
  • All visitors aged 12 years and over must be fully vaccinated (unless in exceptional circumstances for visiting an RDCF)
  • All residents (aged 16 years and over) receiving a visitor must be fully vaccinated

Visitors must have proof of vaccination or a medical exemption

Visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:

Please read Exceptional circumstances for visiting an RDCF.


Residents are permitted to leave the facility to exercise, for recreational activities or to attend small family gatherings provided they adhere to the restrictions within the  Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (the Order).

Residents should not leave the facility if they have COVID-19 symptoms

There are directions in the Order relating to vaccination requirements including that all people aged 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated to visit:

  • hospitality venues such as a café or restaurant,
  • cinemas,
  • group classes and activities at recreation facilities,
  • retail outlets such as shopping centres (not including essential services such as a supermarket or pharmacy)

Residents must wear a mask at indoor venues and when on public transport

All facilities must ensure that residents are provided with appropriate PPE and infection control advice if they need to leave the facility. If a person cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either;

  • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
  • a statutory declaration.


All facilities located in NSW must ensure that all staff wear a surgical mask. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice.

Staff must not enter the facility at all if they:

  • are a close or casual contact of COVID-19, prior to completing their isolation and testing requirements. (Staff who are casual contacts are no longer excluded from entry for 14 days from their date of exposure, however should be risk assessed by the facility before returning to work
  • have not received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 9am 25 October 2021
  • have been to any close or casual locations in NSW OR Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Tasmania OR New Zealand in the last 14 days;
  • have COVID-19 symptoms;
  • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result (except for surveillance purposes)

Please refer to the NSW Government website for further information on NSW rules and restrictions.

For advice on essential staff who are necessary for operational purposes please see the advice on Exceptional circumstances for visiting a RDCF 

Please read Additional information for residential disability care facilities (RDCF) for guidance on:

  • new and returning residents
  • exceptional circumstances
  • additional COVID-19 measures for staff and facilities
  • masks
  • assistance
  • further advice
  • additional resources

Current as at: Tuesday 19 October 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW