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. Orders can be amended frequently. For the most up to date Orders, and the history of each Order, visit
NSW Legislation - COVID-related legislation.
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
Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order (No 2) commenced on 22 October. The Order directs that a "health care worker" must not work as a health care worker unless they have received their
first dose of a vaccine by 30 September with a
second dose required by 30 November 2021 in order to continue to work as a health care worker.
The Order applies to certain health care workers as follows:
Work is defined broadly to cover employees, contractors, VMOs, volunteers and students undertaking clinical placements. It also covers work done under a contract of service or a contract for services. However, the following are excluded from mandatory vaccination:
The Order does not include private primary care providers such as GPs unless they fall within one of the categories above.
Employers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure workers comply with the Order.
Workers will need to provide evidence of having received a COVID-19 vaccination if requested to do so by their employer. Employers will be able to request this information.
An exemption is available for a worker if they are unable to be vaccinated with any COVID-19 vaccine available in NSW a due to a medical contraindication.
Workers will be required to provide evidence of a medical contraindication via a certificate from a medical practitioner, in a form approved by the CHO, that specifies the medical contraindication. This can be either the Australian Immunisation Register
immunisation medical exemption form or the NSW
COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form.
There is an exemption that will apply if a person needs to do work in a medical emergency or non-medical emergency.
The Minister may exempt other persons from these requirements, but only if satisfied it is necessary to protect the health and well-being of persons.
The Minister has made the
Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) (No 2) Order which, from 9am 1 November 2021 revokes and remakes the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021 with the following amendments:
exemption has been made to the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021 to allow up to four visitors (including children) at any one time to visit a resident in a residential aged care facility who is at their end of life, subject to the conditions outlined in the exemption.
The Minister has made the
Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2021. The Order requires vaccination of education and care workers, including teachers and education providers as well as:
The Order requires these workers to have both doses of COVID-19 vaccination by 8 November 2021. An exemption is available for a worker if they are unable to be vaccinated in the rare situation of a medical contraindication. Workers will be required to provide evidence of a medical contraindication via a certificate from a medical practitioner, in a form approved by the CHO, that specifies the medical contraindication. This can be either the Australian Immunisation Register
immunisation medical exemption form or the NSW
COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form.
Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Travellers) Order (No 4) 2021 allows for a graduated approach to responding to risks relating to COVID-19 that arise in different jurisdictions.
The Chief Health Officer can make a
COVID-19 concerns notice which sets out any:
There is a current
COVID-19 concerns notice in effect that sets out the affected areas, areas of concern and places of high concern. For information about the current COVID-19 concerns notice, visit the
NSW Government website.
The COVID-19 concerns notice can designate places outside of NSW or transport routes as a "place of high concern" and will specify whether they are close or casual contact places of high concern.
A person who is a resident of the ACT and has been to a place of high concern at the time specified in the notice, can enter NSW for the purpose of transiting to the ACT. In such a case, they must travel by the most practicable direct route and comply with the
Interstate Traveller Guidelines while in NSW.
exemption is in place so that a:
exemption has been signed under the Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Travellers) Order (No 4) 2021 to exempt certain emergency services workers from the requirement to complete a traveller declaration 24 hours before or on entry into NSW if they are entering NSW in response to an emergency or unforeseen or unplanned circumstances. However, the worker will need to complete a declaration within 72 hours after entering NSW.
Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 commenced on 11 October 2021. The Order eases a range of restrictions for people aged 16 or over who are fully vaccinated.
Some premises and activities must be closed to unvaccinated adults. The vaccination requirement applies to everyone on the premises.
Operators of residential aged care facilities must consider the advice of the Chief Health Officer for aged care facilities.
Greater Sydney includes Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong. Regional areas are all other parts of New South Wales.
A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (or one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for which a single dose is a complete course), or has a medical contraindication certificate, or a medical contraindication recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register. Under the
Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No 3) 2021 a person with a medical clearance notice, issued between 22 September 2021 and 21 October 2021, following diagnosis with COVID-19, is considered fully vaccinated for 6 months from the date of the notice. For medical clearances following past infection issued before 22 September and after 21 October 2021 the exemption period for vaccination is limited to 6 weeks. There are requirements for people to carry evidence of their vaccination status.
Following the removal of hotel quarantine requirements vaccination evidence includes an email or other document from the Department of Home Affairs of the Commonwealth that confirms the person has completed an Australia Travel Declaration and been vaccinated against COVID-19 while overseas.
All of New South Wales is classified as the general area.
Certain events are prohibited. Music festivals are not permitted.
General density limits on non-residential premises are 1 person per 2 square metres. Persons on the premises for work are not counted in the density limits (except for construction sites, industrial premises, warehouses and distribution centres). Persons on premises to pick up take away food and drink are not counted.
These density limits do not apply to entertainment or major recreation facilities, personal services businesses, vessels with less than 50 people that are being used for scuba diving, snorkeling or marine animal watching, or where all the persons are from the same household, caravan parks and camping grounds and essential gatherings.
Premises can only be used as holiday a home or short term rental if all persons are from the same household or if there is no unvaccinated adult.
Visitors are permitted at a place of residence provided no visitor and no household member are unvaccinated adults. The visitor(s) and every person in the household aged 16 and over must be fully vaccinated. There is no limit on fully vaccinated visitors.
The vaccination requirements do not apply to people who visit:
Entertainment facilities and indoor major recreation facilities are restricted to the greater of:
The 100% fixed seating calculation may only be used if patrons are ticketed and assigned to specific seats.
Outdoor major recreational facilities are restricted to the greater of:
Gym classes and dance classes are restricted to 20 persons.
Funerals, memorial services, weddings and gatherings afterwards must comply with the density limits for the premises (generally 1 person per 2 square metres). A person who is under 16 and not fully vaccinated must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated household member.
Premises holding funerals, memorial services, weddings and gatherings afterwards are considered higher risk premises. There are restrictions on attendance by unvaccinated persons (unless it is a small funeral or wedding).
If any adult is unvaccinated, funerals and memorial services are limited to 10 persons (excluding the person conducting the service) and weddings are limited to a maximum of 11 persons (including the 5 people legally required for a wedding, 5 guests and 1 person to record the service). An unvaccinated adult must be seated when eating or drinking at a funeral, memorial service, or weddings.
The following restrictions apply:
An unvaccinated adult is not permitted to attend these outdoor events. An unvaccinated adult must not participate in an outdoor public gathering of more than 2 persons. This restriction does not apply to certain gatherings, including for work, essential gatherings, gathering on premises that require a COVID-19 Safety Plan, where everyone is from the same household, a significant event, or a gathering for voting at an election.
An unvaccinated adult cannot be in a vehicle or vessel with someone who is not from the same household (subject to certain exceptions e.g. a vehicle or vessel being used to carry out work, public transport, compassionate reasons, providing care or assistance, or in an emergency). A person aged 16 or over in a vehicle must carry and show evidence of their address on request of a Police officer.
Masks must be worn in all indoor areas (other than places of residence), indoor common property on residential premises, public transport waiting areas/vehicles/vessels, while working outdoors in hospitality and dealing directly with members of the public, and on domestic commercial aircraft. Teachers and staff must wear masks at schools. Certain exceptions apply.
Fully vaccinated persons in office buildings are not required to wear masks, except in a part of a building that is a retail premises, hospitality or an indoor recreation facility.
The occupier of certain premises must take reasonable steps to ensure that:
These premises must be closed to unvaccinated adults:
Higher risk premises are:
Certain exceptions apply, including premises used to assist vulnerable members of the community, buying take away, attending a small wedding/funeral, click and collect, for a Higher School Certificate or International Baccalaureate examination, or for voting at an election.
Unvaccinated adults may attend premises that are a polling place or voting centre to vote at, or participate in the conduct of, an election.
Unvaccinated people can participate in an outdoor gathering of more than two people for the purposes of voting at an election.
Employers must allow employee who is fully vaccinated to work from home if reasonably practicable.
An employer must require someone who is not fully vaccinated to work from home unless not reasonably practicable. The employee must work from home unless not reasonably practicable.
Unvaccinated people must be seated to consume alcohol in indoor areas. Alcohol may be consumed by fully vaccinated people who are not seated.
Singing and dancing indoors is permitted for fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people must not sing or dance in indoor areas. Exceptions apply to:
The Order allows the Chief Health Officer to declare stay at home areas. Currently there are no stay at home areas.
Certain premises and events must have a COVID-19 safety plan that addresses the matters in the relevant check list approved by the Chief Health Officer.
COVID safe check-in is required for certain premises and events.
A person must not spit at or cough on a worker in a manner that causes fear about COVID-19.
COVID-19 rules for further information on COVID-19 restrictions.
The Minister may, in writing and subject to the conditions the Minister considers appropriate, grant an exemption to the
Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 or specified provisions on the order. If you are requesting an exemption to enter to a NSW health facility, please contact the relevant hospital.
A copy of any exemption granted will be provided to relevant agencies including NSW Police.
Any request for
exemption will be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.
exemption has been made to the
Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 to exempt:
exemption has been made to clarify that unvaccinated persons or persons accompanying them can attend premises used by registered health practitioners to obtain health services, including purchasing health supplies, devices or equipment.
exemption has been made to exempt a fully vaccinated person from the requirement to wear a mask in the Parliamentary precinct subject to specific conditions.
exemption is in place to allow a fully vaccinated person to remove their mask when participating in a musical rehearsal or performance, subject to the conditions outlined in the exemption.
exemption is in place to permit fully vaccinated people to enter and leave Greater Sydney for the purpose of travelling to Lord Howe Island, including for a holiday or recreation.
Current exemptions to the
Public Health (COVID-19 Safety) Order 2021 and previous Gathering Restrictions Orders remain in effect:
exemption is in place to allow up to 25 persons at a place of public worship, a funeral home, a cemetery or crematorium if there is insufficient space to ensure at least 4 square metres of space per person for a funeral or memorial service, or a gathering immediately after a funeral or memorial service.
exemption has been made to allow an unvaccinated year 12 student to attend premises that are being used to hold the student’s school formal, dinner or graduation, subject to the conditions outlined in the exemption.
The Minister has made the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 4) 2021 , which was amended on 3 December 2021.
A summary of the rules in place from 3 December 2021 under the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 4) 2021 and the Amendment Orders:
In line with Australian Government measures, countries of concern are:
Restrictions are in place for passengers from these countries regardless of whether they have been fully vaccinated or not.
Passengers arriving from overseas on or after 28 November 2021 who have been in a country of concern in the previous 14 days must go into a quarantine facility and comply with the same directions as unvaccinated arrivals.
Passengers who arrived in NSW before 28 November 2021 and have been to a country of concern in the last 14 days, must:
From 28 November 2021, passenger arriving from overseas, who have not been in a country of concern, must:
From 30 November 2021, passengers who wish to travel to another state or territory from NSW should check the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction to ensure they are permitted to enter. They should travel in a private vehicle, including a taxi or rideshare vehicle, to their residence or place suitable for self-isolation purposes by the most practicable direct route. Travel by rail and air is permitted if this is the most practicable direct route. If there is a layover period, the person must travel directly to suitable accommodation and self-isolate until they transit out of NSW, or they complete their 3-day isolation period.
International flight crew who are fully vaccinated and have not been in a country of concern must:
The employer must arrange appropriate transportation while the flight crew is in self-isolation.
International flight crew who have been in a country of concern in the previous 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, must comply with the same directions as international flight crew who are not fully vaccinated.
International flight crew who are not fully vaccinated must:
Employers of flight crew members must arrange employee transportation to and from an employee's residence or accommodation and ensure compliance with the
NSW Health Air Transportation Guidelines.
A transportation provider who transports relevant persons to or from a quarantine or medical facility, or who transports international flight crew members who are required to self-isolate must:
The employer of a person who provides a transportation service above must ensure the employee complies with the
NSW Health Air Transportation Guidelines.
There are currently no classes of workers listed on the
NSW Quarantine Worker Surveillance and Testing Program (the NSW Testing Program). Workers should get tested immediately if they have any
COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, and even if they are fully or partially vaccinated.
The Order requires a nominated worker to be vaccinated for COVID-19, or have a medical contraindication, in order to provide services or enter an airport or quarantine facility.
A nominated worker is a worker working in a quarantine facility, providing transportation services to international arrivals or working at the airport and who are specified in the
NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program.
A nominated worker can only provide services at a quarantine facility, provide transportation services to a relevant person (someone who has been overseas in the last 14 days) or provide services at the airport if the worker:
Nominated workers must provide evidence that they have been vaccinated to their employer or a police officer on request. Employers of these workers must ensure that their workers comply with this requirement. In addition, an employer will need to provide vaccination records of staff to a police officer on request.
A person subject to the
Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 4) 2021 must also comply with any applicable directions to the person under the
Public Health (COVID-19 Self Isolation) Order (No 3) 2021. In the event of any inconsistency, the latter Order takes precedence.
The exemption exempts them from the requirement to go to a quarantine facility, however they must comply with the following restrictions:
The exemption does not apply to a person who has been in a country of concern in the previous 14 days, or to a flight crew member.
The exemption does not apply if the child has been in a country of concern in the previous 14 days or if the parent/guardian accompanying them has been to a country of concern in the previous 14 days.
For information on individual
exemptions to entering a quarantine facility, which not covered above, please see air and maritime quarantine.
The Minister has made
Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 4) 2021 which commenced on 27 November 2021.
does not apply to certain interstate vessels, being a vessel that:
The Order sets conditions on persons who arrive in NSW on a vessel that comes from a port outside of NSW (other than an interstate vessel), called
relevant persons. A
relevant person arriving in NSW on a vessel to which the Order applies can only disembark if:
If authorised to disembark as directed by the Commissioner of Police, a relevant person must go to a quarantine facility, hospital, or to an airport or other vessel to leave Australia. If a person leaves the vessel to go to a quarantine facility and then is directed to go to an airport or vessel (to get a flight or vessel leaving Australia), the person must follow the directions of the Commissioner of Police while travelling to, and while at, the airport or vessel.
If a person goes to a quarantine facility or hospital, they must remain there for the duration of their quarantine period, unless the Commissioner of Police directs otherwise, or it is an emergency that requires the person to leave the facility. If it is an emergency, the person must comply with directions of the Commissioner of Police.
Employers must arrange appropriate transportation of crew to quarantine facilities or the airport or port, provide the person with a face mask, and take reasonable steps to ensure the person wears a face mask while travelling to the quarantine facility, hospital or other medical facility, airport, or port, and while waiting at the airport or port to leave NSW.
An essential task includes:
If a person disembarks a vessel to undertake an essential task, they must remain within 13 metres of the vessel and return to the vessel immediately after completing the task.
The person must follow any directions of the Commissioner of Police and comply with the
NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers while performing their essential task.
Certain persons are permitted to board and then subsequently disembark a vessel in order to provide certain functions or services (e.g. repairs, loading, fuelling, health services, border force, inspections, insurance agents and union official).
A person boarding must leave the vessel immediately after completing their function and comply with the
NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers.
Persons boarding a vessel must provide their contact details to the occupier of the wharf using the Service NSW app.
The occupier of a wharf and the master of a vessel must develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan that addresses the matters in the relevant checklist as in force from time to time.
A person subject to the
Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 4) 2021 must also comply with any applicable directions to the person in the
Public Health (COVID-19 Self Isolation) Order (No 3) 2021 (or any order that replaces that order). In the event of any inconsistency, the latter Order takes precedence.
International crew who are fully vaccinated with
a COVID-19 vaccination that is approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods
Administration (TGA) may wish to request shore leave whilst their vessel is
docked in a NSW Port. In order to disembark for the purposes of shore leave, an
exemption is required. To apply for an exemption, please visit the exemptions for air and maritime quarantine webpage.
For more information about vaccines that are approved or recognised in Australia please visit the Australian Government website.
For more information about exemptions to the Order, see
exemptions for air and maritime quarantine.
Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No 3) 2021 requires persons diagnosed with COVID-19 and close contacts of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to self-isolate and specifies requirements for self-isolation including duration and location.
The Amending Order commences at 8am on 21 October and amends the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No 3) Order 2021.
The Amended Order directs:
The notification must comply with the Confirmed Cases fact sheet (this will need to be approved by the Chief Health Officer and published on our website),
The Order requires compliance with the NSW Health Factsheet:
Confirmed Case of COVID-19 issued by the Chief Health Officer and the
self isolation guidelines,
which may change from time to time.
Read how NSW Health uses and discloses personal information relating to COVID-19 collected through case interviews and contact tracing at
COVID-19 contact tracing and your privacy.
exemption is in place to allow school students or staff members of a school who are identified close contacts to attend school and outside school care after receiving a negative PCR (nose and throat swab) test taken at the start of their self-isolation period,
subject to the conditions outlined in the exemption (including daily rapid antigen testing for seven consecutive days after the negative PCR test).
There are currently no premises at a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 between residents of the premises, in accordance with the Order.
It is an offence to not comply with a Public Health Order and penalties can apply:
Corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to:
On the spot fines can also be issued:
Additionally, on the spot fines can be issued to individuals and corporations for a breach of an Order relating to not wearing or carrying a mask: