​This fact sheet provides information about the rules and requirements in place in NSW to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.​ Other states and territories may have specific entry requirements, including the requirement to quarantine. Please ensure you check these prior to onward travel.

Last updated: 11 January 2021

Arriving into NSW

All travellers on arrival in NSW are required to undertake COVID-19 screening, which includes temperature testing and questions about COVID-19 symptoms. If you present with symptoms, or declare you have been in close contact to a person with COVID-19 symptoms, you may be required to have a COVID-19 swab. If you do not agree to the screening process, or if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or other risk factors for the disease, you may be directed to undertake mandatory quarantine for a period of at least 14 days.

Travellers who have arrived on a "green" (quarantine free) flight, and who have satisfied the requirements above, are free to leave the airport and do not have to self-isolate in the community.  You should make sure to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing immediately if they occur.

Travellers who have arrived on a "red" flight will be escorted to mandatory hotel quarantine for at least 14 days.

Do I need to wear a mask?

In Greater Sydney (Including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), it is mandatory to wear a face mask in certain indoor settings including public transport, retail premises, entertainment facilities, gaming areas in licensed premises, place of public worship and residential aged care facilities.

Face masks must be worn indoors at all NSW airports and on domestic commercial flights into or out of NSW, including when the flight is landing at or taking off from the airport.

Children 12 years and under are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable. Masks should not be worn by toddlers under 2 years of age and babies, as they are a choking and suffocation risk.

How to limit your risk of COVID-19 in NSW

Just like in New Zealand, NSW requires all arriving travellers to follow advice to help us protect you and our community. To limit your risk you need to:

  • practise good hand hygiene by handwashing with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • wear a mask if you are in an area and setting where it is mandatory to do so (see section above) or if you are unable to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others
  • avoid large groups of people such as airport welcoming party
  • for those travellers who are immunocompromised, including those with developed chronic health conditions, extra precaution is advised.

Public Health Orders and advice

There are several public health orders in effect to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Please visit NSW Government - What you can and can't do under the rules to see what you can and can’t do under these Orders. Any breach of the Orders made under the Public Health Act 2010 is an offence where heavy penalties can apply - up to $11,000 and 6 months imprisonment. On the spot fines can also be issued of up to $4,000.

Travelling within NSW

It is recommended that you stay informed of COVID-19 case locations and current alerts in NSW. The latest COVID-19 news and updates can be found on the NSW Government website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/

When you use taxis and rideshares (also called 'point-to-point services'), you should practice physical distancing where possible. As a passenger in a taxi or rideshare you should:

  • wear a face mask
  • sit in the back seat with no more than two passengers in a vehicle
  • use car ventilation (not recirculated air) and lower windows
  • where possible, travel directly to your destination
  • use contactless payment methods where available
  • handle your own belongings and luggage.

When using public transport you should:

  • wear a face mask
  • plan ahead and avoid travelling in the busiest times if you can.
  • check the capacity of services before you travel by using the app Trip Planner, other transport apps or social media (Facebook pages, Instagram or Twitter) to see which services have space available to maintain physical distancing.

Please avoid travelling by taxi or public transport if you are unwell, even if your symptoms are mild.

Visiting places where people gather

During the summer months popular places such as parks and beaches may become overcrowded. Please follow the signage and advice from rangers or police. There are many alternative options for when iconic destinations become too crowded. Encourage everyone to enjoy summer by exploring less-travelled places within your destination. There are restrictions in place for gatherings, which may vary across locations. Please visit NSW Government - What you can and can't do under the rules to check the requirements for your local area.

All food and drink premises, micro-breweries, cellar doors, small bars, clubs and casinos are required by law to reduce crowding and promote physical distancing with markers on the floor where people are asked to queue.

All customers, unless only collecting takeaway, must provide accurate contact details and their time of entry. This can also be done electronically. It is important to follow the facilities requirements for physical distancing and hand hygiene.

When should I get tested?

Stay in if you have a cough, sore or scratchy throat, fever, runny or blocked nose, or loss of smell or taste. Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, even for mild symptoms. To find your nearest testing clinic, refer to the NSW Health  COVID-19 clinics webpage. Testing is free, and no Medicare card (local healthcare card) is needed.

If your symptoms are serious, call the emergency number 000 for an ambulance. Make sure to wear a mask when travelling to and from the clinic, and avoid public transport. After you've been tested, remain in your accommodation and self-isolate while you wait for your test results. Results typically take 24 to 72 hours. For more information on self-isolation, refer to the NSW Health COVID-19 self-isolation guidelines

What happens if I test positive for COVID 19 or I’m identified as a close contact?

If you are tested and confirmed to have COVID-19, or identified as a close contact of someone who has been confirmed to have COVID 19, you will be informed by an authorised person from NSW Health and contact tracing will occur. You will also be required to self-isolate. For more information refer to COVID-19 self-isolation guidelines and information.

Where to go for more information and advice

  • Information for NSW can be found at NSW Government - COVID-19
  • National Coronavirus Health Information line: 1800 020 080 - 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Healthdirect provides trusted, quality health information and advice online and over the phone: 1800 022 222 24 hours, 7 days a week
Current as at: Monday 11 January 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW