To deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 and its possible consequences, the Minister for Health and Medical Research has made a number of Orders, under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010.

For help in understanding the public health orders, refer to NSW Government: What you can and can't do under the rules and Industry guidelines for COVID Safe workplaces or NSW Health - Directions under the Public Health Act (Easy read).

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Affected persons: Persons who in the last 14 days have been in Victoria

Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, relates to “affected persons”, persons who in the last 14 days have been in Victoria. The Order commences at the beginning of 8 July 2020.

The Order directs that an affected person must not travel to NSW. Only certain categories of affected persons can enter NSW including:

  • Returning NSW residents; and
  • Children going to boarding school (and their parents)
  • Persons providing critical services
  • Persons entering child access or care arrangements
  • Persons transiting out of NSW
  • Seasonal workers
  • People need medical or hospital treatment
  • People need to meet their legal obligations
  • People in border communities

People entering NSW generally will have to obtain an entry permit and comply with the conditions on the permit or specific conditions in the order (eg returning NSW residents have to self-isolate). the order (eg returning NSW residents have to self-isolate).

If an affected person enters NSW, they must self-isolate at their place of residence or another suitable place and remain there until 14 days have passed since the person was in Victoria. There are only limited reasons an affected person can leave their home, including obtaining medical care, complying with legal obligations, providing an essential service, in an emergency or to leave NSW. The person must comply with the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines.

Another person cannot enter the affected person’s place of residence except in limited circumstances e.g. normally live there or providing medical care or delivering food.

There is a power of the Minister to exempt compliance, which has been delegated.

Spitting and coughing

Public Health (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Order 2020 directs that a person must not intentionally spit at or cough on public officials or other workers in a way that is reasonably likely to cause fear about the spread of COVID-19.

The original order commenced 9 April 2020; amendments commenced 20 April 2020.

Gathering and movement

Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020contains directions on gatherings, the use of non-residential and residential premises and community sporting activities. The Order lists premises requiring a COVID-19 safety plan. Generally the number of people allowed on premises will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre rule’. Limits apply to weddings and funerals on residential premises.

People can participate in outdoor public gatherings of not more than 20 people. There is a 20 person limit on visitors to a home. The Order directs employers to allow employees to work from home if this is reasonably practical. The Order commenced on 1 July 2020.

Any request for exemption to the order must be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

An exemption is in place under the Order for operators of (non-commercial) recreational vessels, where all persons on the vessel are members of the same household and/or any non-family members maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres.

An exemption is in place under the Order for ski resorts, which may operate for winter recreational activities including skiing and snowboarding under specific conditions as outlined in the exemption.

Quarantine

Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation and Maritime Quarantine) Amendment Order (No 2) amends the current Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 2) to extend the current quarantine period up to 24 days. However, the quarantine period will end at any time after 14 days if the Chief Health Officer is satisfied that the person does not pose a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.

The Amendment Order also amends the current Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 2) in relation to the quarantine period, to provide that the quarantine period starts when a person disembarks from a vessel and ends after 24 days. However, the quarantine period will end at any time after 14 days if the Chief Health Officer is satisfied that the person does not poses a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.

The changes to the quarantine periods will apply to anyone who has arrived after 25 June 2020, when the current air and maritime orders came into effect.

Air transportation

Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 2) 2020 directs that a person who arrives in NSW by aircraft and has been in a country other than Australia within 14 days before that arrival must undertake mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days. Special conditions also now apply for the flight crew, including that they comply with guidelines regarding self-isolation.

The original order commenced 29 March 2020; amendments commenced 29 March 2020 and 3 April 2020. The second order commenced on 24 June 2020.

On 29 March, an exemption was granted for unaccompanied children. For more information, refer to Letter from the Chief Health Officer - Travel of unaccompanied children to NSW, Australia.

Maritime

Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 2) 2020 directs that a person who arrives in NSW on a vessel that has come from a port outside of NSW must not disembark from the vessel unless authorised, and once authorised to disembark must do go directly to a quarantine facility, hospital or other medical facility for 14 days. directs that a person who arrives in NSW on a vessel that has come from a port outside of NSW must not disembark from the vessel unless authorised, and once authorised to disembark must do go directly to a quarantine facility, hospital or other medical facility for 14 days.

The original order commenced 28 March 2020; amendments commenced 3 April 2020. The second order commenced on 24 June 2020.

On 8 April, an exemption was granted to allow crew members to disembark the vessel to undertake essential tasks, and authorises people performing additional functions to board a vessel.

Self-isolation

Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No 2) 2020 under the Public Health Act 2010 directs that a person diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-isolate in their residence or other suitable location until medically cleared and comply with the self isolation guidelines.

The order commenced on 23 June 2020. Any person who was in self-isolation under the previous Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order 2020must continue to self-isolate until medically cleared.

Residential Aged Care Facilities

Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 2) 2020 remakes, with amendment, the previous Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order, easing some of the restrictions in relation to visitors.

The original Order commenced 24 March 2020 and the amendment commenced 23 June 2020.

Requesting exemptions

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Page Updated: Tuesday 7 July 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW