Need to know: the new COVID-19 restrictions around Australia

Need to know: the new COVID-19 restrictions around Australia

Update (3.06pm AEST): Western Australia recorded one new community case of COVID-19, South Australia has also introduced new COVID-19 restrictions and the lockdown in Darwin has been extended until Friday - read more below.

With an outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney growing rapidly over the weekend and new cases of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus jumping state borders new restrictions are now in force nationally.

A state of lockdown has been extended for the entirety of Sydney, Darwin has also gone into lockdown, and state borders across the country are closed in response to the numerous outbreaks.

Here's a summary of the restrictions nationally after Australia's COVID-19 situation deteriorated over the weekend.

New South Wales

The Bondi cluster of COVID-19 grew to 124 locally acquired cases today after the entirety of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong went into lockdown on Saturday.

As such, everyone in those areas must now stay at home unless it is for one of four essential reasons:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
  • Medical care or compassionate needs
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer
  • Essential work or education where you cannot work or study from home

Today the state recorded 18 new cases of community transmission up to 8pm last night - with all but one of the infections connected to existing cases.

About a third of the cases were in isolation for the entire time, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new infections are likely a reflection of what may have occurred in the previous week.

"Whilst the numbers today are less than the numbers yesterday, we have to be prepared for the numbers to bounce around, and we also have to be prepared for the numbers to go up considerably," the Premier said.

Northern Territory

UPDATE (3.06pm AEST): The lockdown in Darwin has been extended for another 72 hours and will remain in place until 1pm on Friday 2 July.

The capital city of the Northern Territory has today woken up to lockdown settings after five COVID-19 cases linked to a central Australian mine were discovered over the weekend.

Darwin and its surrounding areas are now in a snap lockdown which commenced at 1pm on Sunday after 900 workers left a mine northwest of Alice Springs where a Victorian man had earlier tested positive.

About 400 fly-in, fly-out workers travelled in recent days to Brisbane and 250 flew to Perth, with 244 remaining in the NT.

The Darwin lockdown includes the closure of all libraries, swimming pools and council-related community events and activities.

The Australian Government chief medical officer has now declared Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong COVID-19 hotspots for the purposes of Commonwealth support.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment for the new LGAs will become available on 4 July 2021 for eligible people in these areas. This payment is for people who reside or work in a Commonwealth declared hotspot and can't attend work as a result of state imposed health restrictions lasting greater than one week.

Eligible people will receive $500 if they've lost 20 hours or more of work, and $325 if they've lost less than 20 hours of work. They must not have liquid assets of more than $10,000 or be in receipt of other payments.

The original seven LGAs that were declared on 23 June 2021, City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, Woollahra will have their COVID-19 Disaster Payments available from the 1st July 2021.

Victoria

New border restrictions are in place in Victoria due to the worsening COVID-19 situation around the country.

Darwin has been designated a red zone under the state's travel permit system, meaning non-Victorian residents are not allowed to enter the state.

Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour are also red zones for the purpose of interstate travel into VIC.

The following areas are now orange zones under VIC's travel permit system, meaning arrivals must self-quarantine and remain isolated until a negative test result is received:

  • The ACT
  • All of regional NSW (not including communities in the border bubble)
  • Greater Brisbane
  • The Perth and Peel regions

Queensland

New COVID-19 restrictions will come into force in much of Queensland from 1am tomorrow after the state recorded two new locally acquired cases today.

One of the cases is linked to the Portuguese restaurant outbreak and has been in isolation while infectious.

The other is a female miner from the Sunshine Coast and is confirmed to be infected with the Delta strain.

Health authorities are still working on tracing and testing the other miners from the site.

"We are rapidly testing all 170 so far," said QLD chief health officer Jeanette Young.

"Essentially, we don't know where this virus might next pop up."

As such, from 1am on 29 June a mask wearing mandate and other restrictions will come into force for the following QLD local government areas (LGAs):

  • Noosa
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Logan
  • Redlands
  • Morton
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Scenic Rim
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Somerset

Venues will return to the one person per four square metre rule, dancing will be banned except for at weddings, eating and drinking must be done while seated, and Queenslanders must remember to check in at venues.

The new settings will be in place for two weeks.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has asked Queenslanders to refrain from travelling into NSW, flagging border restrictions could come into force if the situation worsens.

Anyone who has been to Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong areas since June 21 should isolate wherever they are for a period of two weeks since they left. This applies to those who have arrived in Queensland.

Western Australia

After Western Australia recorded one new community case of COVID-19 yesterday, linked to New South Wales, and one new case today, fresh restrictions for the Perth and Peel regions came into force for a minimum of three days.

The new restrictions are as follows:

  • Mandatory mask wearing indoors, on public transport, and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. Primary school students and those who are exempt are not required to wear masks;
  • Public events that cannot be restricted to 150 people will be cancelled or played without spectators today including the Chicken and Beer Festival and West Coast Eagles vs Western Bulldogs AFL match at Optus Stadium - the match will proceed but without spectators;
  • 30-person limit in all homes for private gatherings;
  • Hospitality, entertainment venues (including casino and nightclubs), retail, beauty/hairdressers, recreation centres (including gyms, pilates, yoga, dance and swimming pools) and places of worship can remain open but must comply with the two square metre rule, with a maximum of 150 patrons;
  • Community sport is permitted;
  • Weddings and funerals can also proceed but will be limited to a maximum of 150 attendees;
  • Hospitals will have a maximum of four personal visitors permitted per patient per day - masks will be mandatory for staff and visitors; and
  • Anyone who enters a regional area from the Perth-Peel region is required to wear a mask as per requirements in Perth-Peel, and travel should be minimised. Travel to remote Aboriginal communities will be restricted.

In addition, the state has upgraded its border controls, with the NT, QLD and the ACT joining Victoria on the 'low risk' setting, meaning all arrivals must complete 14 days of quarantine on arrival.

New South Wales remains at medium risk - with travel not allowed without an exemption, as well as those exempt travellers needing to self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested on arrival and on day 11.

For now, South Australia and Tasmania are the only jurisdictions that remain at the 'very low risk' setting.

Australian Capital Territory

With the COVID-19 situation escalating in NSW, the Australian Capital Territory has made the wearing of masks mandatory when out in the community.

This new requirement means when people are in many indoor public places or using public transport, they must wear a face mask.

ACT residents returning to the ACT from the City of Darwin, City of Palmerston and Litchfield LGAs in the NT, including the Darwin rural area, will be subject to a stay-at-home order in the ACT. The same goes for those who have been to Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong.

South Australia

South Australia has now closed its borders to most of the country except for Tasmania and Victoria.

As such, travellers from WA, the NT, QLD, NSW and the ACT are not allowed to enter SA.

Travellers from Victoria are mostly permitted except for those who have been at a COVID-19 Tier 1 or Tier 2 exposure site.

Other travellers from VIC must receive a COVID-19 test on arrival and self-quarantine until a negative result is received.

People travelling from TAS to SA are not subject to any restrictions upon entering the state.

Update (2.03pm AEST): SA has introduced new COVID-19 restrictions today despite recording zero new locally acquired cases of COVID-19.

New preventative COVID-19 resrtrictions will come into force in SA from midnight tonight (28 June) including:

  • Masks must be worn in high-risk settings such as aged care, hospitals etc. and are recommended on public transport
  • Only 150 people can attend private gatherings at homes or in halls
  • Licensed venues will be back to one person per two square metres and you must be seated when indoors.

The restrictions are expected to remain in place for at least one week.

Tasmania

Tasmania has shut its borders to travellers from the entirety of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Wollongong as well as Darwin in response to the outbreaks of COVID-19 in those areas.

Updated at 3.06pm AEST on 28 June 2021.

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