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 or NSW Health - Directions under the Public Health Act (Easy read).

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Spitting and coughing

Public Health (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Order 2020directs 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 2) 2020directs employers to allow employees to work from home if this is reasonably practical. The order removes the previous stay at home requirement. People can participate in gatherings in a public place of not more than 10 people. The order also requires certain premises to be closed to the public and places limits on the number of people in certain premises.

The order commenced 15 May 2020.

On 29 May 2020, an exemption was granted for commercial vessels for the purposes of diving; snorkeling; and whale, dolphin or marine animal watching tours, 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.

On 21 May the following exemptions were granted:

  • an exemption for auction houses for purposes related to a sale as outlined in the exemption, and where a COVID-19 safety plan is in place
  • an exemption for drive-in cinemas subject to conditions and where all other requirements of the Public Health Order are met.
  • an exemption for betting agencies where a COVID-19 safety plan addressing the matters in a COVID-19 safety checklist approved by the Chief Health Officer is in force, and all other conditions of the exemption and Public Health Order are met.

On 19 May the following exemptions were granted:

  • an exemption 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 for lawn bowling up to a maximum of 10 persons where physical distancing of 1.5 metres is maintained and the registered club or pub complies with specific recording requirements in addition to all other requirements of the Public Health Order
  • an exemption for swimming pools with a length of 25 metres or greater for squad training in line with set requirements.

Quarantine

Air transportation

Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order 2020directs 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. The direction does not apply to the flight crew.

The original order commenced 29 March 2020; amendments commenced 29 March 2020 and 3 April 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 2020directs 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.

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 2020 under the Public Health Act 2010directs that a person diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-isolate in their residence or other suitable location until medically cleared.

The order commenced 25 March 2020.

Residential Aged Care Facilities

Public Health (COVID-19 Residential Aged Care Facilities) Order 2020restricts who is allowed to enter or remain on the premises of residential aged care facilities.

The order commenced 24 March 2020.

Lord Howe Island

Public Health (COVID-19 Lord Howe Island) Order 2020 under the Public Health Act 2010restricts who may access or leave Lord Howe Island and directs that people arriving on Lord Howe Island must self-isolate for 14 days.

The order commenced 20 March 2020

Requesting exemptions

Page Updated: Friday 29 May 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW