Settlement Guide

COVID-19 measures across Australia's states and territories

The coronavirus restrictions across Australia vary depending on where you live as States and Territories make changes based on their needs and concerns. (Last update 07.12.2020. For the latest information follow the link below)

This factsheet was last updated on 07/12/2020 For the latest COVID-19 updates in English visit: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/topic/coronavirus-covid-19

 

 Victoria - easing restrictions

Gatherings

  • Leave home - no restrictions 
  • Public gatherings - up to 100 people outdoors
  • Visitors to the home - up to 30 visitors per day, can be from different households (babies aged under one are not counted)
  • Christmas celebrations: up to 30 visitors are allowed in households each day (babies aged under one are not counted)
  • Hospitals and care facilities: no restrictions on number of visitors or length of time for visits. Hospitals and care facilities set rules for visitors.
  • Weddings, funerals, religious gatherings: caps have been removed with attendance instead subject to one person per two square metres.

Work

  • If you can work from home, you must continue to do so. This is important in helping to limit the number of people moving around – and to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 
  • Gradual return to work with 25 per cent of staff commenced and a density limit of one person per 4 square metres is followed.
  • In Victoria, it is no longer compulsory to wear masks in offices or cafes.
  •  Masks must still be carried at all times and worn on public transport, in ride-share vehicles, at indoor shopping centres and crowded places.
  • If you cannot do your work from home, you can go to work. When at work you can stay safe by: 

    o   washing your hands regularly

    o   coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow

    o   keeping at least 1.5 metres distance from others

    All businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan, including businesses operating from home (i.e. hairdressing from a home).

    More info: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/work-study-and-volunteering-third-step#can-i-go-to-work

Schools

  •  All Victorian school students have returned to on-site learning. 
  •  University, TAFE and adult education students can return to on-site learning.

More info: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/work-study-and-volunteering-third-step#can-i-go-to-work

Travel and Transport:

Masks must be carried at all times and worn on public transport, in ride-share vehicles, practise good hygiene and don’t travel if you’re unwell.

More info: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/public-transport

  • There are no restrictions on reasons to leave home or the distance you can travel.
  • You can go on holiday anywhere in Victoria.
  • You can book accommodation with the people you live with, your intimate partner, and up to two friends or family members (and their dependents) who don’t live with you.
  • There are no limits on the reasons to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
  • International passenger flights have now recommenced.

Business and recreation

Cafes, restaurants and bars: no restrictions on number of patrons, but venues must observe the rule of one person per two square metres. Customers will no longer have to be seated for service.

  • Outdoor sports, pools: no limits on number of people 2 square metre rule apply.
  • Gyms: number of people allowed depends on the size of the place, 4 square metre rule apply when staffed.  1 person per 8 square metres when there are no staff at the venue.

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering.
  • Victorians failing to isolate after testing positive or being identified as a close contact could have to pay a fine.
More info: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/fines-enforcement-and-reporting


New South Wales

Gathering:

  • Up to 50 people can visit a residence as long as an outdoor space is being utilised, however, it’s recommended no more than 30 people gather if the residence has no outdoor area.
  • From December 7 up to 100 people for outdoor gatherings
  • Weddings funerals and religious service: (from December 7) maximum capacity caps removed subject to the 2sqm rule.

Work:

  • From Monday 14 December 2020 the public health order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home (where it is reasonably practicable to do so) is no longer in place.
  • As employees return to the office, workplaces are encouraged to have COVID-19 Safety Plans in place.
  • Employers are encouraged to stagger staff starting and finishing times to reduce the impact on public transport. Customers using public transport are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.
  • Workers must stay home if feeling unwell, and get tested for COVID-19 if they experience any symptoms.

Schools:

  • Any NSW student with symptoms of COVID-19 are not allowed to return to school until they test negative.
  • School formals, dances, graduations and other social events are not permitted.
  • More NSW Education: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families#School2 

Travel and Transport

  • Travellers from interstate can visit NSW for a holiday but need to comply with the rules of their home state when returning.
    • Caravan parks and camping grounds are open. Travellers planning to visit national parks should check www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au for further information.
    • Visiting residential aged care facilities or a health service is restricted.

More info: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions

Businesses and recreatio

  • For some types of businesses and organisations, it is mandatory to register as COVID Safe under the Public Health Orders. More info: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe
  • Gyms and nightclubs: one person per 4 square metres, with a maximum of 50 people allowed in gym classes or on the dance floor at nightclubs
  • Stadiums and theatres: (outdoors) 100% seated capacity, and one person per 2 square metres for unstructured seating areas. Indoors: 75% seated capacity.
  • Small hospitality venues (up to 200 square metres in size) can have one person per 2 square metres indoors.
  • Community sporting activities are allowed, including training sessions and contact activities.

Business and events operators must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and keep a record of all people entering the premises: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering.

Breach of orders made under the Public Health Act 2010 is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.

More info: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules#public-health-orders-record-keeping-and-penalties

 

Queensland

Gathering

  • 50 people allowed to gather in homes and 100 in public spaces across Queensland.
  • Wedding ceremonies: Up to 200 people can attend a wedding and all guests can dance (both indoors and outdoors).
  • Funerals: Up to 200 people can attend a funeral.
  • Residential care:  You can visit loved ones who are receiving residential care at a mental health or drug and alcohol service.
  • Hospital visits: Visitor numbers are determined by the normal visitor rules at each hospital.

More info: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions

 

WORK

Businesses must:

  • Support working from home
  • Send anyone unwell home
  • Allow 1 person per 2 square metres
  • Place out visual markers to encourage distance
  • Operate within the COVID Safe Framework
  • Clean all surfaces often and well
  • Provide hand sanitiser

Workers must:

  • Stay home if I’m sick
  • Get tested if I have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Keep 1.5 metres away from others
  • Clean hands often with soap or sanitiser
  • Cover coughs and sneezes

 Schools:

  • If a child is considered sick by a principal, teacher or staff member, they are to contact the parent or guardian and request they come to collect their child
  • The parent or guardian must collect their child as soon as possible
  • The child cannot return until the end of the contagious period or when they don’t have any signs of illness.

More info: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/school-and-early-childhood-service-exclusion-direction

Travel and Transport:

  • From 1 December 2020 you only need to complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass if, in the last 14 days, you have been in a hotspot or overseas and didn’t fly into Queensland when you arrived in Australia.
  • Anyone in mandatory government arranged quarantine - due to entering from New South Wales or Victoria - can leave quarantine if they have a negative COVID-19 test, and they have to provide their contact details and Queensland address.
  • You must fly into Queensland if you are permitted to enter from a hotspot. You need to be granted an exemption to enter by road from a hotspot unless you are a truck driver, worker related to the transport of freight and logistics or performing selected essential activities.

More info:

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/border-restrictions

Businesses and recreation:

  • Indoor premises: One per person per 2 square meters (e.g. restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, museums, art galleries, places of worship, convention centres and Parliament House). Indoor play areas within a premises can open.
  • Indoor events: 100% capacity at seated, ticketed venues with patrons to wear masks on entry and exit (e.g. theatre, live music, cinemas and indoor sports). Performers can distance from audience at 2m, except choirs which remain at 4m from the audience.
  • Outdoor events: 1500 permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
  • Open air stadiums: 100% seated capacity (with a COVID Safe Plan).
  • Outdoor dancing: Outdoor dancing allowed (e.g. outdoor music festivals, beer gardens).

More info: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions 

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions

 

South Australia 

Gathering:

  • 1 person per 4 square metres at an indoor place
  • 1 person per 2 square metres at an outdoor place.
  • Private function (including wedding and funerals):

150 people maximum 1 person per 2 square metres

More info: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/activities-and-gatherings

Work:

  • While there has been an easing of some restrictions, it is still strongly recommended that people continue to work from home where possible.
  • Continued flexibility in the workplace at this time will support the current COVID-19 response in South Australia. It will also help to ensure business continuity in the event of an outbreak.

Schools:

South Australian schools have been open. In case of outbreaks at any school visit: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/supporting-students/health-e-safety-and-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus

Travel and Transport: 

  • If you need to travel or use public transport, you should take an as direct and practical route as possible.
  • Travel within most of South Australia is unrestricted.
  • All international arrivals entering South Australia have to be placed in a SA Health approved hotel to complete the mandatory 14 days quarantine.

More info: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions

 Business and recreation:

  • The total number of people at a place must not exceed 1 person per 2 square metres.
  • Food and beverages which are served for consumption at venues (including pubs, cafes, clubs, restaurants, wineries, etc.) must be consumed whilst seated when indoors, standing consumption is permitted when outdoors.
  • People offering personal care services must wear appropriate personal protective equipment while providing personal care 
  • At any indoor cinema, theatre or any other place where the activity includes a fixed seating must not have over 50% of their standard capacity in patrons.

More info: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/business-restrictions-and-closures

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities

 

Western Australia

Gathering:

  • No limit to the number of guests at homes as long as there is no more than one person per 2 square metres.
  • No limit on the number at public gatherings as long as there is at least 2 square metres of space per person.
  • 2 square metre rule does not apply for seated and ticketed performances at seated entertainment spaces within selected venues and places of worship
  • Restricted access to remote Aboriginal communities
  • Restricted access to residential aged care facilities

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/covid-19-coronavirus-controlled-interstate-border-frequently-asked-questions-faq#restrictions 

Work:

  • Western Australians are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable. If you are concerned or unsure about returning to work, you should contact your employer.

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-business-and-industry-advice#returning-to-work

In the workplace

  • Practice good hygiene and physical distancing.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly.
  • Eat lunch at your desk or outside, instead of the lunch-room.
  • Limit food handling and food sharing in the workplace

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-advice-community-service-providers

 

Schools:

  • School attendance is mandatory for all students, except those who are medically vulnerable or who have medically-vulnerable family members.
  • Parents/guardians can enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children. 

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-education-and-family-advice#advice-for-schools

Travel and Transport:

  • WA has transitioned to a safe and sensible controlled border arrangement based on the latest public health advice.
  • WA’s controlled interstate border arrangement is dependent on every state and territory in Australia recording a 14-day rolling average of less than 5 community cases of COVID-19 per day.
  •  

Business and recreation:

  • There is no limit on the number of patrons permitted in a venue, however, the 2 square metre rule and physical distancing apply. This means the maximum number of patrons permitted is based on the size of the venue. 
  • Large hospitality venues that can hold more than 500 patrons need to include staff in their patron count.  
  • The casino gaming floor reopening under agreed temporary restrictions
  • No requirement to maintain patron register at restaurants, cafes and bars
  • All events permitted except for large scale, multi-stage music festivals
  • Optus Stadium, HBF Park and RAC Arena to operate at 50% temporary capacity
  • Unseated performances permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs.
  • The maximum in a seated entertainment space is 60 per cent.

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/document-collections/covid-19-coronavirus-food-businesses-and-licensed-premises

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-latest-updates

 

Tasmania

Gathering:

  • Gatherings at households: limited to up to 40 people at any one time, not including residents of the household.
  • Weddings, places of worship and commercial premises: Number of people determined by the density of the area: maximum of 250 indoors and 1000 outdoors
  • Hospital visits: Visitors are limited to a maximum of one per patient at any one time.

Work:

People are encouraged to continue to work from home where possible, to help with physical distancing measures and limit the contact between people. 

Schools:

  • All students who are well will continue to learn at school.
  • Students with health concerns that may place them at higher risk of moderate to severe illness from COVID-19 will be supported to continue learning at home where possible. To make arrangements, talk to your school about what support they can provide.

More info: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/schools-and-childcare 

Travel and Transport:

  • You can travel and stay anywhere within Tasmania, but you must comply with the restrictions on gatherings and household visits.
  • Travellers to Tasmania need to provide their contact and travel details before entering the state, to help manage the risk of COVID-19 at Tasmania’s borders.
  • The areas where travellers have spent time prior to arriving in Tasmania determine the conditions for their entry into the State.
  • A quarantine fee is in place for people required to quarantine in government-designated accommodation (exemptions apply).

 More info: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania

Business and recreation:

  • All businesses and workplaces are now permitted to operate, but must implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan. 
  • The maximum density limit is one person per 2 square
  • Gyms are now open, with COVID-Safe plans focused on density, physical distancing, contact tracing, cleaning and hygiene.

More info: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/current-restrictions#:~:text=Gatherings%20at%20households%20%E2%80%93%20including%20shacks,on%20gatherings%20and%20household%20visits.

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/

Northern Territory

Gathering:

  • There are no gathering limits indoors or outdoors in the NT, but people are asked to abide by social distancing of 1.5 metres
  • Weddings and funerals are allowed
  • Gatherings of more than 100 will require the completion of a Covid-19 checklist.

More info: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/business/guidelines-for-events-and-gatherings

Work:

Under the CHO Directions, a business, organisation or community group must:

  • Have a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which they must comply with and review every six months.
  • Make available hand sanitiser to customers unless hand-washing facilities are available.
  • Display signage in areas that are open to the public and accessible to employees stating that a person should consider the following:
    • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres
    • Keep close contact to less than 15 minutes if it isn’t possible to keep 1.5 metres away.
    • Practise hand hygiene by washing hands or using hand sanitiser.
    • Staying home if feeling unwell and getting tested.

More info: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/safety-supervisors-and-contact-tracing

 

Schools:

All Northern Territory students are expected to physically attend school

More info: https://education.nt.gov.au/publications/information-for-term-2-2020?SQ_VARIATION_814972=0

Travel and Transport:

  • Arrivals to the Territory from overseas are directed into mandatory supervised quarantine at the Howard Springs quarantine facility.

Interstate Arrivals to the NT:

  • If not from a declared hotspot, do not need to self-quarantine. Hotspots list: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine/hotspots-covid-19
  • All interstate arrivals have to complete the border entry form up to 72 hours prior to arrival.

More info: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine/mandatory-supervised-quarantine-for-repatriated-australians

Business and recreation:

  • Exercise, outdoor gatherings, swimming, fishing and boating are allowed
  • Skate parks, pools, playgrounds are outdoor gyms allowed to open.
  • Cafes, restaurants, bars, sports training, indoor markets, gyms, libraries, galleries and museums and all other businesses are open.
  • Attend community and sporting competitions with spectators in approved seating configuration. If above 500 people the event requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.

More info: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/business/guidelines-for-events-and-gatherings

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au

 

Australian Capital Territory

Gathering:

  • Households: No limit on visitation.
  • Weddings and funerals: Up to 500 guests can attend weddings or funerals, as long as there is no more than one person every 4 sq m.
  • Places of worship: Maximum of 25 people, excluding staff and those conducting the service, across the whole venue.
  • Aged care: people can visit family members or close friends in an aged care facility for the purposes of providing care and support. There are no limits on the number of hours spent with a relative or friend.
  •  Public gatherings: all allowed up to 100 people (1 person per 4 square metres for each indoor and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoor space), including funerals.

More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/news-articles/cautious-step-in-act-covid-19-restrictions

 

Work:

  • Return to work where it suits employers and employees, with a COVID Safe Plan in place.
  • Stay home if you’re unwell and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1664968/PICC0050-COVID-Recovery-Plan_2-December-2020.pdf

 

Schools:

  • ACT public schools are open. Most students and teachers have returned to school.
  • Students and teachers with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems can work or study from home.
  • If your child is unwell, please do not send them to school.

More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/community/students-education-childcare

Travel and Transport:

  • COVID-19 cases can spread quickly and there is no easy way to predict them. 
  • Unless travel is restricted, ACT Health does not declare areas safe or unsafe for travel.
  • People from COVID-affected areas are urged to reconsider their travel to the ACT
  • Do not use public transport if you are unwell or in quarantine or isolation.
  • If you need to travel home for quarantine, please use a personal mode of transport if available.

Business and recreation:

  • Canberra gyms, restaurants, cafes and bars can host 25 people
  • If businesses and venues want to have more than 25 people, they can use 1 person per 2 square metres of usable space in indoor and outdoor spaces, provided they use the Check In CBR app.
  • Businesses and venues not using the Check In CBR app can continue to have 1 person per 4 square metres of usable space in indoor spaces and 1 people per 2 square metres in outdoor spaces
  •  Patrons to be seated while consuming alcohol in indoor spaces
  • Cinemas and movie theatres - up to 65% capacity of each theatre, up to 500 people if using the Check In CBR app.
  •  Large indoor venues - ticketed and seated events up to 65% capacity, up to 1,500 people.
  • Enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating - ticketed and seated events up to 65% capacity, up to 1,500 people.
  •  GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval - up to 65% seated capacity

More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-and-work

Fines

  • Fines apply when there are restrictions in place, for example for unlawful gathering, or not wearing a mask when compulsory.

More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au


  • People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
  • If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus
  • Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.