17 February 2022

The NSW Government is taking a staged and flexible approach to the easing of restrictions as the State continues to take a measured response to managing COVID-19.

From the beginning of Friday, 18 February 2022, the following adjustments will be made to the current settings:

  • No density limits (previously one person per 2sqm for hospitality venues);
  • QR check-ins will only be required for nightclubs, and for all music festivals with more than 1,000 people. Hospitals, aged and disability facilities may use their existing systems for recording visitors;
  • Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues, except music festivals, where singing and dancing can recommence from 25 February;
  • The recommendation to work from home will change and be returned to the employer's discretion.

From the beginning of Friday, 25 February 2022, the following adjustments will be made to the settings:

  • Masks will only be mandated on public transport, planes, and indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, corrections facilities and indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people;
  • Masks are encouraged for indoor settings where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others and for customer facing retail staff to protect vulnerable people who must access these premises and services;
  • Each State Government agency will review where it may be appropriate for public-facing staff to wear masks and will implement as necessary; and
  • The 20,000 person cap on music festivals will be removed, with singing and dancing permitted. Vaccination requirements will remain for indoor music festivals over 1,000 people, with attendees required to have at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Hotel quarantine for unvaccinated returning travellers will be reduced from 14 to 7 days from 21 February.

With hospitalisation and ICU rates easing and booster uptake now above 50 per cent a staged return of non-urgent elective surgery across all NSW public hospitals has commenced and will be increased through February to March.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government is continuing to adopt a flexible and measured approach to protect the community and our health system.

"We don't want restrictions in place for any longer than necessary and with hospitalisation and ICU rates trending downwards now is the right time to make sensible changes," Mr Perrottet said.

"As we continue to move forward out of the pandemic we are ensuring that we keep people safe and people in jobs so life can return to normal as quickly and safely as possible."

"Our frontline health staff have done an incredible job protecting the community and we need everyone to step up and do the right thing and get their booster shots to help keep themselves, their family and the community safe."

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the NSW Government has worked hard to strike the right balance between re-opening the State and keeping everyone safe.

"Regional communities have already welcomed back visitors with open arms, and these further freedoms are a big win for everyone who has done the right thing to get us this far," Mr Toole said.

"This measured response will reinvigorate our regional communities, with country shows, festivals and other major events able to return bigger than ever."

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said we needed everyone to play their part as we dealt with the challenges the pandemic would continue to throw at us.

"As we are moving more into the endemic stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes are giving us more of our old life back but it still makes a lot of sense for us all to be cautious," Mr Hazzard said.

"The best outcome is still to avoid getting the virus by protecting yourself, your family and the broader community."

People aged 16 years and older can receive their booster dose at three months after receiving their second dose of any of the COVID-19 vaccines. You can book your COVID-19 vaccine or your booster shot, via NSW Government - Get vaccinated.

More information is available at NSW Government. ​