COVID 19 restrictions eased

The NSW Government has announced changes to its COVID-19 restrictions around gatherings, capacity limits and wearing a face mask.

Coming online across the Greater Sydney area from January 29, up to 30 visitors from any number of households may visit another household on any day.

The total number of visitors includes adults and children (A member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor.)

No more than 50 people can gather outside in a public place which includes public parks, reserves, beaches, public gardens and spaces.

A maximum of 300 people may attend a wedding or a funeral subject to the square metres rule applicable at the venue.

And up to 25 people are allowed at hospitality venues before the one person per 4 square metres rule applies.

It’s also now recommended, but not mandatory, that Central Coast residents wear a face mask at shopping centres and supermarkets.

It is still mandatory to wear a mask on public transport, including waiting areas such as a bus stop or train platform and in some indoor settings such as places of public worship, gaming rooms and hair and beauty premises.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues who have a customer facing role and visitors, staff and venue operators are advised that on the spot fines may apply to those found breaching the Public Health Order (PHO).

The PHO includes several exemptions for not wearing or removing a mask under certain circumstances.

You are not required to wear a mask if you: Are a child aged 12 or under; have a physical or mental health illness or condition; or a disability that makes wearing a mask unsuitable (for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma).

You may remove your mask when you are: Eating or drinking; communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing; at work and the nature of your work; makes wearing a face mask a risk to you or another person’s health and safety; means clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential; and, asked to remove your mask for identity purposes.

You may also remove your mask because of an emergency and for the proper provision of goods or services that require you not wear a mask.

The number of people who can attend weddings and funerals has also been upped to 300, subject to the hosting venue’s ability to comply with the square metres rule.

For weddings, a COVID-19 Safety Plan must be completed and registered, with people attending required to provide their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Only the wedding party (maximum of 20 persons), is permitted on a dancefloor.

There cannot be rotation of people on the dancefloor beyond this wedding party.

Weddings held in a home in the Greater Sydney region are restricted to 30 visitors.

For funeral and memorial services, places of public worship, funeral homes and crematoria must be registered as a COVID Safe business.

People attending the service will be required to supply their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

More information about all current restrictions is available on the NSW Government’s website.

Dilon Luke