Restrictions will be eased across the Greater Sydney region following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
The following measures will be effective from 12:01am Friday, 29 January for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains):
- Visitors to households will be increased to 30 guests – including children.
- Outdoor gatherings will be increased to 50 people in total.
- Weddings and funerals will be capped at 300 people (fully seated) subject to the 1 person per 4sqm rule with no singing or dancing (except 20 nominated people in the wedding party can dance).
- All other venues including hospitality venues, places of worship and corporate event venues (fully seated with no singing or dancing) will be subject to the 1 person per 4sqm rule.
- Smaller hospitality venues will be allowed at least 25 people.
- Singing indoors including choirs or places of worship will be limited to five people.
- Masks will be recommended but no longer compulsory at retail shopping venues.
- Masks will remain compulsory for front-of-house hospitality staff, on public transport, in places of worship, hairdressers, beauticians and gaming rooms.
- Aged care facilities and other health settings such as hospitals will receive tailored advice from NSW Health specific to their locations in relation to requirements around mask wearing.
It is anticipated that all settings requiring the 4sqm rule will revert to the 1 person per 2sqm rule in two weeks’ time if current trends continue, subject to expert health advice.
Once the 1 person per 2sqm rule applies, it is anticipated fines will increase to reduce the risk of super spreading events.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked the community for their patience and understanding over the past few weeks.
“The community has been outstanding in containing this outbreak. The sacrifice and efforts of everyone is why we can ease restrictions today,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We must remain vigilant – it is critical we are getting tested with the mildest of symptoms, follow the health advice and continue to be COVID-Safe right across the state.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said these eased restrictions will provide some relief for venues, businesses and communities statewide.
“These changes will provide more certainty to plan events such as weddings and functions, and will give businesses more clarity around restrictions while still remaining COVID-Safe” Mr Barilaro said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said even if you have tested negative before, it is critical you come forward again if you develop symptoms, no matter how mild.
“Anyone experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, even if they are mild, must isolate immediately, get tested and continue to isolate until a negative result is received,” Mr Hazzard.
Dr Kerry Chant said high testing rates are critical to NSW Health’s efforts to identify COVID-19 cases and prevent the virus from spreading.
“This is particularly important in areas where we’ve had recent cases, particularly western and south-west Sydney,” Dr Chant said.