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Information for people with disability

NSW Health has issued Public Health Orders to protect the community and limit the spread of COVID-19.

The terms ‘disability facility’ or ‘aged care facility’ are not defined in the Order. In the absence of a definition, it has its ordinary meaning.

Easy Read resource: Public Health Orders - Easy Read

Household visits

Up to 20 people can visit a household. Visitors should remain 1.5m apart where practicable.

A person is not counted as a visitor if they are at the household:

  • to engage in work
  • for childcare
  • to fulfil carers’ responsibilities
  • to provide care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person.
  • to avoid an injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • because of an emergency or for compassionate reasons


Do not participate in a gathering in a public place of more than 20 people. 

Exceptions to this include:

  • a gathering of persons all of whom are members of the same household (meaning any persons living together in the same place of residence – such as a group home)
  • a gathering of persons for the purposes of work (including work at disability facilities)
  • a gathering to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person (such as a person with disability).

Gatherings at disability facilities

A gathering at a disability facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facility is exempt from:

  • The 20 person gathering rule (i.e. gatherings in a public place limited to 20 people, with exceptions)
  • The 4 square metre rule (i.e. in a place that may remain open to the public, occupiers and operators of the premises (indoor and outdoor) must allow at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises).  

Disability services

Disability support providers must take steps to prevent, control and manage the individual and public health risks associated with COVID-19 as they deliver supports to people with disability through this time:

  • Providers delivering supports in a person’s home must refer to public health guidelines in the context of group accommodation, supported independent living and residential settings. NDIS registered service providers must also refer to the guidelines published by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
  • Providers delivering supports in the community must do so in a way that manages the risk of exposure to COVID-19 including by using alternatives to face-to-face service delivery. The NDIA and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has published advice for providers on some ways to do this
  • NDIS providers must notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission of substantial changes to supports as a result of COVID-19. Enquiries to the NDIS Commission can be made via telephone on 1800 035 544.

Centre-based activities for people with disability

The Orders do not prevent the use of premises to provide a service to assist vulnerable people, for example, day activities that assist vulnerable people.

A gathering for the purpose of providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person is exempt from the 20 person gathering rule. Similarly, a gathering at a disability facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facility is also exempt from the 20 person gathering rule.

Border restrictions

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions​ with Victoria to limit the spread of COVID-19. Only persons authorised under the Public Health Order may enter NSW. 

The current Public Health Orders do not include any specific provisions relating to disability service providers. However, Victorian residents of the border zone​​ who cannot work from home and need to cross the NSW border to their workplace in NSW – including individuals who are providing supports to people with disability – can apply for a permit​ which continuously authorises them to enter NSW for a defined period. The relevant reference in the PHO is Schedule 1(7), read in conjunction with the definition of ‘permitted purpose’ in 3(1).

Public health advice: People who have travelled from Victoria in the last 14 days, residents in the NSW VIC border zone, people who have been in NSW localities of community transmission and managing high risk

More information: NSW-Victoria border restrictions and permits​ 

Easy Read resource: Closing the NSW Border – Permits for people who still need to cross​

More information

Page Updated: Wednesday 29 July 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW