Easing of Restrictions for New South Wales

Easing of Restrictions for New South Wales

The information on this page relates to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions for New South Wales. It will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Last updated: 04 January 2021

Useful Links:

NSW Government website – COVID-19

NSW COVID-19 Safety Plan – Sports, Recreation & Gyms

NSW Government – Make your Business COVID-19 Safe 

Safework NSW advice

NSW COVID-19 Small Business Support (Grants, loans, financial assistance) –  available to eligible NSW small business owners.

Guidance for your business with the Business Concierge service if your business has been impacted by the NSW bushfires and/or COVID-19 (coronavirus).

What to do if COVID-19 is linked to your business

How to request and negotiate a rent reduction. A new step-by-step tool to make it easier for business owners who are having trouble paying rent due to COVID-19, to negotiate a new commercial lease.

Current Restrictions for NSW

From midnight 02 January 2021, the southern zone of the Northern Beaches will be subject to the same restrictions as Greater Sydney.

Restrictions for the northern zone of the Northern Beaches remain the same with stay at home orders in place until 9 January 2021;

  • No visitors to the home.
  • Five northern zone residents can gather outdoors (not at homes) for exercise and recreation, from within the same zone.
  • Non-essential businesses remain closed.

The following measures for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) are effective from midnight tonight:

  • Gym classes reduced to 30 people.
  • 1 person per 4 square metre rule for indoor areas.

Previously, From 20 December (11:59pm) the o1 person per 4 square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor settings in Greater Sydney including Blue Mountains and Central Coast. Northern Beaches remain under ‘Stay at home’ orders .

From 5 pm 19 December Northern Beaches LGA will be under stay at home orders until 11.59pm on Wednesday. This will require the closing of hospitality venues and gyms. As in previous restrictions this includes Pilates studios.

All residents of the Northern Beaches LGA will be required to stay at home, unless permitted to leave for certain reasons, such as essential shopping, exercise and medical care. The full list of circumstances will be listed in the published order to be released later today.


From Monday 7 December, venue capacity for indoor recreation, yoga, pilates and dance studios, martial arts training facilities is increased in NSW as the 2 square metre rule replaces the 4 square metre rule. Children count towards the capacity limit. (CovidSafe link)

Full details are provided in the physical distancing section of the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Learn more about the 2 square metre rule or easing of restrictions. 

Electronic check-in is mandatory

Patron check-in at recreation facilities (indoor) must be completed using electronic methods such as a QR code.

The Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in is strongly recommended as a free, secure and convenient system, but any electronic method that meets the record keeping requirements can be used.


From 23 November 2020 it is mandatory for all indoor recreation, yoga, Pilates and dance studios, martial arts training facilities to set up an electronic check-in system, such as a QR code, for contactless customer check-in.

For further details: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/customer-record-keeping

Indoor recreation, yoga, pilates and dance studios, martial arts training facilities:

Under Public Health Orders, you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how your business will keep your participants, volunteers and workers safe.

You can either :

02 August 2020

The NSW Government is strongly encouraging greater use of masks in high-risk public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant specifically recommends:

  • the use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain
  • the use of face masks (where practical) in indoor settings with a higher risk of transmission, such as for the staff of hospitality and customer-facing venues i.e. cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs
  • during attendance at places of worship.

Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing.

From Saturday 1 August 2020:

Note: the following does not apply to indoor recreation, yoga, Pilates and dance studios, martial arts training facilities, which have their own requirements.

Under new rules, all gyms and fitness centres must:

Gyms must assign one staff member as a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal who will be in distinctive clothing (such as a shirt or badge).
The marshal is responsible for ensuring all aspects of the COVID-19 Safety Plan are being maintained, including:

    • social distancing
    • cleaning
    • ensuring the accuracy of record keeping.

From 29 June 2020:

Indoor recreation facilities such as squash courts, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks can reopen with restrictions.


Previously in place, since 15 May:


  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Use of outdoor equipment in public places, with caution.

Closed venues – Indoor recreation facilities (for example, squash courts, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks).

In a place that may remain open to the public, occupiers and operators of the premises must allow at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises.

The restrictions do not apply to premises offering health services. For example, chemist, doctor, hospital or medical centre, physiotherapist, remedial or therapeutic massage service provider.

See here for examples of what you can and can’t do in NSW.