What you can and can't do under the rules

Year 12 is a big year in anyone's life, and 2020 has come with extraordinary challenges which NSW students have managed extremely well. You deserve to be congratulated, and to enjoy the time ahead.

Like everything else, Schoolies events will be different this year but with a little planning you and your friends can still celebrate the end of your high school journey, in meaningful and memorable ways.

If you're planning end of HSC celebrations, please continue to help keep your friends and family safe by following these guidelines. The rules of what you can and can't do may change from time to time depending on the health advice, so it's important to keep up to date through the NSW Government website.

Large Schoolies events are usually organised to occur soon after exams finish. This year, those sized gatherings aren't allowed because of the risk of spreading COVID-19. Instead, consider how you can arrange for your smaller groups to reschedule get togethers or trips away. Waiting a few weeks until the off-peak season or going to less crowded locations for holidays will reduce the risk, and probably lower the cost. 

COVID-safe tips

Help us stop the spread of COVID-19 during schoolies and always remember to:

  • Stay home and get tested immediately if unwell
  • Keep 1.5 metres apart
  • Practise good hand hygiene
  • Wear a face mask if unable to physically distance

Don't be afraid to remind your friends too. Take extra care if you're around vulnerable people.

Travel and transport restrictions

There are currently no restrictions on people who live in NSW travelling within NSW. There may be restrictions on travelling interstate, and you should check the latest advice when making your plans. Check cancellation policies too.

Party buses must comply with the 4 square metre rule and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. 

Gatherings at holiday homes and holiday rentals

Under the current restrictions up to 50 visitors may visit another house at any one time, though NSW Health recommends that there is no more than 30 if the residence does not have any outdoor space. If you're having friends over to your accommodation, and this is permitted under the conditions of your rental, then you have to restrict it to 50 visitors at any one time.

Outdoor public gatherings

No more than 50 people may gather together outside in a public place. This includes at the beach and in parks or bushlands. There are significant penalties for people attending organised gatherings larger than this in public spaces. See below for Penalties for breaching Public Health Orders.

Attending hospitality venues

Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which includes a maximum of 30 people per booking or table. Alcohol can only be consumed by people who are seated (and 18 years or older), and venues are not currently able to operate as nightclubs. Anyone who ignores staff directions to comply with requirements could receive serious penalties and be banned from the venue.

Try and organise outings around one venue – meet there and stay there. This can help limit the number of people at risk of getting COVID-19, should someone in your group be infected.

Always register your contact details at each venue you visit so you can be contacted if you've been exposed to COVID-19; this will help to make sure you don't infect others in your group or bring the virus back home.

What to do if you become unwell

If you develop even mild COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately at the nearest COVID-19 testing clinic. After your test you must go straight back to your accommodation and self-isolate away from your group until you receive your result.

Find the COVID-19 testing clinic closest to your accommodation here. 

Penalties for breaching Public Health Orders

If you breach current restrictions under the NSW Public Health Order, you could receive a maximum penalty of $11,000, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both and a further $5,500 penalty for each day the offence continues

The NSW Police may also issue on-the-spot fines of $1,000 for an offence.

Current as at: Wednesday 2 December 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW