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 and continues mandatory vaccination directions in place under the
Public Health (COVID 19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021. 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 vaccineby 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.
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 changes to the
Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order 2021 including to changing the name to
Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order further amendments include:
The Order also restrict visitors to a residential aged care facility:
A visitor does not include a person providing a health service or professional or other service to the resident (however, such a person may be subject to other vaccination requirements).
Operators of residential aged care facilities must continue to consider the advice of the Chief Health Officer in respect of a range of matters, including in relation to the management of visitors.
Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order 2021 makes a new direction requiring a person providing disability services in person to only provide such services if they have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 9 am 25 October and the second dose by 9 am on 29 November 2021. A disability service is defined.
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.
Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Travellers) Order (No 3) 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 is in place so that a person entering NSW from the Queensland border region only needs to complete a declaration form once every 72 hours.
exemption is in place so that a person entering NSW from the Australian Capital Territory border region only needs to complete a declaration form once every 72 hours.
exemption is in place to allow a person to be away from their residence for the purposes of feeding and attending to animals but only if no other person is reasonably available to care for the animals, subject to certain conditions.
exemption has been signed under the Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Travellers) Order (No 3) 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.
exemption has been signed to exempt a NSW resident from the requirements to compete a declaration or follow the stay at home rules if they have only been in the ACT for work, to receive medial or health treatment or to accompany someone receiving treatment.
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. Restrictions remain on entering and leaving Greater Sydney.
A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 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 person with a medical clearance notice, issued after 22 September 2021, following diagnosis with COVID-19, is considered fully vaccinated for 6 months from the date of the notice. There are requirements for people to carry evidence of their vaccination status.
Some premises and activities must be closed to unvaccinated adults. The vaccination requirement applies to everyone on the premises. Workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose are be permitted to return to their workplace but must be fully vaccinated by 1 November 2021.
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.
All of New South Wales is classified as the general area.
Certain premises remain closed including amusement centres, play centres, sex on premises venues and indoor public swimming pools (except to conduct swimming classes, lap swimming, squad training or rehabilitation activities).
General density limits on non-residential premises are 1 per 4 square metres in indoor areas and 1 per 2 in outdoor areas. 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, snorkelling 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 there are no more than 20 persons and there is no unvaccinated adult.
20 visitors (not including children 12 years and under) are permitted at a place of residence provided no visitor and no household member is an unvaccinated adults. The visitor(s) and every person in the household aged 16 and over must be fully vaccinated.
This limit does not apply to people who visit:
Entertainment facilities are restricted to:
The 75% fixed seating calculation may only be used if patrons are ticketed and assigned to specific seats. All persons at an entertainment facility, other than those working, must, as far as is reasonably practicable, remain in the assigned seats at all times.
Major recreational facilities are restricted to:
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 4 square metres indoors and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoors). A person who is under 16 and not fully vaccinated must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated household member.
A maximum of 20 visitors (not including children 12 years and under) are permitted at a place of residence provided no visitor and no household member is an unvaccinated adult.
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).
Group bookings are restricted to 20 persons (except for significant events).
Hospitality venues cannot take a booking of more than 20 persons (unless it is for a significant event).
From 1 November the limits on hospitality bookings will be removed.
The following limits apply:
An unvaccinated adult is not permitted to attend these outdoor events. These restrictions do not apply to certain gatherings, including for work, essential gatherings, gathering on premises that require a COVID-19 Safety Plan, gatherings of 2 people, or where everyone is from the same household.
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 indoor areas (other than places of residence), indoor common property on residential premises, public transport waiting areas/vehicles/vessels, while working 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:
Note: outside of Greater Sydney, a worker who has only had one dose of vaccine can enter the premises until 1 November 2021.
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, or click and collect.
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.
The employer of a worker outside of Greater Sydney who has had only one dose of a vaccine must allow their worker to work from home if reasonably practicable until 1 November 2021.
Unvaccinated people must be seated to consume alcohol in indoor areas. Alcohol may be consumed by fully vaccinated people who are not seated (except in nightclubs and strip clubs).
Dancing indoors is permitted for fully vaccinated people (except in nightclubs and strip clubs, where only performers can dance). Unvaccinated people must not dance in indoor areas. Exceptions apply to:
Singing is not permitted in indoor areas. Exceptions apply to:
People cannot enter or leave Greater Sydney without a reasonable excuse.
A person may enter Greater Sydney to obtain goods or services if the goods or services are for the personal needs of the person's household or for other household purposes, including for vulnerable persons or pets, and the goods or services, or equivalent goods or services, are not reasonably available outside Greater Sydney.
A person may leave Greater Sydney to obtain goods or services if the goods or services are for the personal needs of the person's household or for other household purposes, including for vulnerable persons or pets, and the goods or services, or equivalent goods or services, are not reasonably available in Greater Sydney.
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:
Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 3) 2021 commenced on 1 September 2021.
The Order revokes and remakes the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No2) 2021.
However, for a person in a quarantine facility or medical facility the quarantine period can only end after 14 days if the Chief Health Officer is satisfied that the person will be tested for COVID-19 2 days after leaving the facility, or the person cannot be tested due to circumstances beyond the person’s control and the person will be tested for COVID-19 as soon as practicable after leaving the facility.
For more information visit
flight crew quarantine and self-isolation requirements.
COVID-19 testing for international flight crew: frequently asked questions provides further information about COVID-19 testing of flight crew and management of results.
Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 3) 2021 commences on 1 September 2021. The Order repeals and remakes the current Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order (No 2) 2021 with the following amendments:
See information on
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 Factsheet (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.
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:
For more information see
Public Health Amendment (COVID-19 Penalty Notice Offences) Regulation (No 3) 2021.