Restrictions FAQs

Lockdown ending

If lockdown has ended, why are there still restrictions in place?

A certain level of restrictions (Public Health Social Measures) need to remain in place as we exit lockdown to allow us to reach our vaccination targets and protect our community and the health system.

Do we still have to wear a mask after lockdown ends?

Yes. The Public health direction will still require people to carry a face mask and wear a face mask at all times when outside of their residence. There are exemptions to this requirement, for example when consuming food or drink or when undertaking strenuous exercise.

Do we still have to use the Check In CBR app after lockdown ends?

Yes, use of the Check In CBR app remains mandatory when lockdown ends.

Retail

Frequently asked questions for retail is available on the Business FAQ page.

Travel advice

What are reasons which NSW residents can travel into the ACT?

Under the ACT’s Standing Exemption, NSW residents who reside in the approved border postcode areas are permitted to enter the ACT for any reason:

The NSW Government announced on 11 October 2021 that an exemption had been made to the NSW Public Health Order to reduce requirements on NSW residents who travel to the ACT for work or to access medical care.

NSW residents who have been into the ACT are no longer required to complete a declaration or follow stay at home rules after they return to NSW.

What are the reasons which ACT residents can travel into NSW?

Any travel from the ACT into NSW must first comply with NSW public health restrictions. If you have been at a close contact or casual contact exposure location at the dates and times listed in the NSW COVID-19 concerns notice, you must not enter NSW.

If you have not been at an exposure location you may enter NSW without completing a declaration form or any requirement to self-isolate. You can view more details here NSW Government website.

Under a Standing Exemption, ACT residents can travel into approved border postcode areas for any reasons and re-enter the ACT without the need for an exemption or quarantine.

Will the Standing Exemption be changed to allow ACT residents more reasons to travel into NSW?

The Standing Exemption has been expanded to provide for ACT residents to travel into the approved postcode areas in NSW.

What are the approved postcodes in NSW?

View the full list of approved border postcodes.

Can I cross the border into an approved postcode to go to the pub?

Yes, this is permitted, unless you have been to a close or casual contact exposure location. To attend a venue, the NSW Government requires you to be fully vaccinated and to that you have proof of vaccination. From 29 October the ACT expects that travel restrictions for travel to and from NSW will be further eased.

When will there be less restrictive travel into NSW for ACT residents?

From 29 October the ACT expects that travel restrictions for travel to and from NSW will be further eased.

When will there be less restrictive travel into Victoria for ACT residents?

This will be considered as part of easing measures for 29 October 2021.

Can I travel beyond the border region (approved postcodes) for an essential reason e.g. medical appointment?

Yes, however, you will need an exemption prior to returning to the ACT. Quarantine conditions continue to apply.

You also need to ensure you have fulfilled all requirements under the NSW Public Health Order. At this stage, NSW has no entry declaration requirement for the ACT, unless you have been to a close or casual contact exposure location at the dates and time listed in the NSW COVID-19 concerns notice.

I am fully vaccinated ACT resident; do interstate travel restrictions still apply to me?

Yes. The travel restriction rules in the ACT remain the same for fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and non-vaccinated ACT residents.

When can parents travel for shared custody arrangements and not have to quarantine?

The Standing Exemption permits entry to the ACT from approved border postcodes for any reason, including child access arrangements. There is no requirement to apply for an exemption or quarantine if returning from an approved postcode area in NSW.

When can people from NSW travel into the ACT without having to complete an exemption form or quarantine?

If you live outside the ACT in one of the approved border postcodes, you can enter the ACT under a standing exemption for any reason.

From 29 October the ACT expects that travel restrictions for travel to and from NSW will be further eased.

When can ACT residents travel into NSW without having to complete an exemption form or quarantine on returning to the ACT?

ACT residents can travel into approved border postcode areas and re-enter the ACT without the need for an exemption or quarantine. Approved border postcodes have been expanded.

For any travel outside of these areas, ACT residents will need to apply for an exemption prior to their return into the ACT and quarantine arrangements continue to apply.

You also need to ensure you have fulfilled all requirements under the NSW Public Health Order.

From 29 October the ACT expects that travel restrictions for travel to and from NSW will be further eased.

Can I travel to my holiday home in NSW?

Yes, but only if the property is located within the approved border postcodes. Prior to travel, ACT residents must ensure they are adhering to NSW Public Health Orders.

NSW has no entry declaration requirement for the ACT, unless you have been to a close or casual contact exposure location at the dates and time listed in the NSW COVID-19 concerns notice.

Five visitors to a house

Is there a time limit?

You may only have five visitors to your household at any one time and there is no specific time limit for visits. The five visitor limit does not apply to children under 12 years of age.

Can it be multiple people across the day?

Visitors do not need to be the same five people each time, but please try to minimise the number of different people coming to your house as we continue to manage the current outbreak.

Does it need to be the same five people every visit?

Visitors do not need to be the same, but please try to minimise the number of different people coming to your house as we continue to manage the current outbreak.

Do you have to wear masks when visiting someone’s house?

The Public health direction requires people to carry a face mask and wear a face mask at all times when outside of their residence. There are exemptions to this requirement, for example when consuming food or drink or when undertaking strenuous exercise. A face mask should be worn where you are visiting someone’s home. All visitors to homes should maintain physical distancing wherever possible.

Does this number include children?

The 5 visitor limit does not apply to children under 12 years of age.

Please note that the intention of this direction is not to allow lots of people to visit a household at one time as we continue to manage this outbreak.

Can we leave our local regions to visit a household?

Yes, you can travel across the ACT to visit another household.

Does this include people from approved NSW postcodes?

Yes, residents from approved postcodes in the NSW region are permitted to enter the ACT under the Standing Exemption to visit another household, in line with ACT household gathering limits.

The Standing Exemption also permits ACT residents to visit another household within the approved postcode area, but this must be in line with NSW public health restrictions.

If you live in NSW outside the approved postcodes, you will still need to seek an exemption to enter the ACT. You must not travel unless an exemption has been granted.

With regards to five people visiting, does that mean vaccinated or unvaccinated?

An individual’s vaccination status does not change how the local restrictions apply in the ACT.

Can the visitors be business related?

Yes, businesses are permitted to enter your house as long as they follow all other COVID-19 safety guidance. This includes house cleaners or people delivering and installing equipment, for example.

Please ensure you follow COVID safe practices and look to maintain separation from people entering your home.

There are separate rules for construction workers entering an occupied premises.

A face mask should be worn by persons entering a home for business reasons.

Groups/Gatherings

What are the rules for 25-person outdoor gatherings?

Up to 25 people from different households are permitted to gather outdoors for non-organised recreation. This limit includes children.

The group of 25 must meet in a public setting, not in a backyard.

Can 25 people gather in my backyard?

No, only 5 people are permitted in your household at any one time.

Can people come across the border to be one of the 25 people?

People travelling from across the border are only permitted to visit another household within the ACT household gathering limits. They are also permitted to attend a wedding or a funeral.

However, people travelling from NSW must first ensure they follow the public health directions in place in NSW.

If they are permitted to travel, and they are part of our identified postcodes they can come into the ACT under the standing exemption.

They must also follow the requirements under the NSW public health directions for returning to NSW.

Does the group have to wear masks? When exercising? What about when stationary?

The Public health direction requires people to carry a face mask and wear a face mask at all times when outside of their residence. There are exemptions to this requirement, for example when consuming food or drink or when undertaking strenuous exercise.

Are public BBQ facilities open?

Yes, BBQ facilities are now open.

Can I pick up people outside of my household in my personal vehicle, such as picking up my child’s friend and driving them to the park?

Yes. When travelling with people from another household in a private vehicle all persons over 12 years old must wear a mask.

Sport, bootcamps and personal training

What sporting activities can I participate in?

Outdoor training can resume with up to 25 people in each outdoor space or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser (exc staff or volunteers). You should minimise use of shared equipment.

In addition to the abovementioned gathering requirements, one parent per minor is permitted to be in attendance. However, parents are to maintain physical distancing.

Change rooms at facilities are to remain closed.

Is there a limit on the number of people in a sporting facility?

Yes, only 25 people are allowed across the venue, or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser.

Clubs are responsible for maintaining COVID safe practices in line with public health directions.

Clubs should ensure they have a COVID Safety Plan that can be produced during a compliance check.

Are gyms, health clubs, fitness centres, personal training and bootcamps able to operate?

Yes, gyms, health clubs and fitness centres are permitted to open with the following restrictions:

  • 25 patrons across the venue or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser (exc staff).
  • Indoor classes and circuit sessions not permitted.
  • Supervised weight training or use of other gym equipment.
  • Equipment to be cleaned after each individual use.

Change rooms to remain closed.

Outdoor bootcamps and personal training can take place with a maximum of 25 people, excluding trainers.

For gyms with multiple areas and spaces, they must ensure that there are no more than 25 people across these areas at any one time.

For a gym that includes a separate swimming pool area, 25 people are permitted to be in the swimming pool area as long as there is complete separation from individuals accessing other areas within the facility. Flow of patrons should be carefully considered to maintain separation as far as possible.

Can I access a clubhouse at my local sporting club?

Yes, people can access a clubhouse at a local sporting club to gain access to toilets or other amenities. Communal change rooms are to remain closed at this time. People are reminded to avoid congregating and to be COVID safe.

Where sports/facilities are able to operate, is there guidance as to what staff are essential to operate these?

Sports clubs should have the minimum number of staff present on site to allow social and recreational sport to occur in line with public health directions.

Can swimming pools open?

Swimming pools can reopen with 25 people across the venue, or 1 person per four square metres, whichever is less (excluding staff).

There can only be 2 swimmers per lane, and formal lessons and training is permitted to proceed, whilst adhering to the gathering restrictions.

One parent will be permitted for each minor, in addition to the 25 swimmers.

Change rooms remain closed.

Beyond the higher-level guidance of restrictions are sports required to put in place detailed COVID Safety Plans along the lines of what was in place last year?

Yes, all sporting organisations, venues and clubs should have a COVID Safety Plan and these should be available to provide to an authorised officer when requested.

Are outdoor facilities like cricket nets or batting cages available for use?

Yes, outdoor facilities such as cricket nets and batting cages are open for recreational sport and training. Outdoor training can have 25 people in each outdoor venue, or one person per four square metres, whichever is less (excluding staff or volunteers).

Are campgrounds and caravan parks open?

Accommodation, campgrounds, caravan parks and campsites can reopen, but must adhere to gathering limits.

Weddings and Funerals

Can I attend a funeral?

Yes, provided the funeral does not exceed the total number of allowed people. Funerals can have 50 people or 1 person per 4 sqm whichever is less (excluding staff). This is regardless of whether the funeral is indoors or outdoors.

Can I attend a Wedding?

Yes, provided the wedding does not exceed the total number of allowed people. No more than 25 attendees or 1 person per 4 sqm, whichever is less (excluding the celebrant and one photographer, but includes persons being married and two witnesses). You must remain seated whilst eating and drinking. Dancing is permitted at a wedding.

Can guests to a funeral or wedding travel from NSW to attend?

Yes, guests may attend from approved NSW border postcodes to attend a funeral or wedding under the Standing Exemption.

Persons from outside the approved border postcodes must seek an exemption to enter the ACT prior to travelling.

Can a wedding take place outdoors in a public setting? For example by the lake?

Yes, a wedding may be held outdoors in a public setting, providing it does not exceed the total number of allowed people. Guests must remain seated whilst eating and drinking. Dancing is permitted at a wedding.

Education

When can tertiary students return to face-to-face learning?

Higher education and training continues to be by remote learning, except where essential instruction or learning activities cannot be adequately conducted remotely.

Plans for gradual return to on campus learning will be a matter for individuals institutions, however it is planned that public health directions will permit this from 29 October 2021, in line with organisational COVID-19 Safety Plans. This will be confirmed closer to the date.

Do students have to wear a mask to school?

Staff and visitors at all schools, and students in years 7-12 must wear a face mask on campus.

Students in years 3 to 6 are encouraged to wear a mask at school if they are comfortable doing so (at the discretion of the student and their parents or carers).

Children in preschool to year 2 are not advised to wear masks as they are likely to be worn incorrectly and may present a choking hazard.

Masks may not be suitable for students with disabilities.

Schools will make allowances for those students to not wear masks if required.

A staff member / student has been confirmed as having COVID-19 at my child’s school. What does my child and the rest of the family need to do?

ACT Health have comprehensive processes in place to support contact tracing for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. Use of the Check in CBR app is really important, and schools also provide information like timetables, site maps, and rosters to support contact tracing if a case is connected to a school.

If a school is identified as an exposure site, a response team is stood up to provide support to the school in managing the response. This includes providing communications to families on testing and quarantine requirements, access to additional supports and information, and supporting remote learning for students during quarantine.

Returning to on campus learning in term 4

Read more here.

Other

Can a learner driver do driving lessons?

Yes, driving lessons are permitted to recommence, as long as they are conducted in a COVID safe manner. Masks must be worn in the vehicles at all times.

Can I go to a place of worship?

Places of worship can operate with capacity of 25 people or density of 1 person per 4 sqm, whichever is less.

If hosting a wedding or funeral, a place of worship should follow gathering requirements for these events.

Casual Exposure Sites

Why is ACT Health no longer listing certain monitor for symptoms and casual sites?

ACT Health has determined that people exposed at Monitor for Symptoms and certain Casual sites are at very low risk of becoming infected. This is based on data from the current outbreak both in Australia and interstate.

Given the very low potential for development of disease and for spread to the community, and the high impact on the community and businesses in regard to quarantine requirements, ACT Health will cease active follow up on some casual contact sites and will no longer be listing monitor for symptoms sites and will only list casual exposure sites where there is a higher potential for public health impact.

How do we know which sites have had someone with COVID-19 attend there if the sites are no longer being listed?

Sites no longer being listed on the COVID-19 website are considered to be very low risk to the community, which is why they are no longer being listed.

ACT Health strongly advises everyone to continue monitoring for symptoms, get tested if experiencing the slightest of symptoms, maintain physical distancing, wear masks and hand sanitise regularly.

What locations are considered lower impact sites?

The following are examples of sites that are considered low risk for community spread of COVID-19. These will generally not be listed as exposure sites. However, there may be situations where these sites are listed.

  • Take away services
  • Click and collect services
  • Contactless food delivery services
  • Public transport
  • Outdoor public venues eg: playgrounds and sporting grounds
  • ATMs.

All sites need to continue to follow COVID -safe practices with cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing.

Will I still be notified if I am a casual contact?

ACT Health are continuing the monitoring and management of exposure sites that have a higher risk of transmission. Casual contacts may be identified from these sites. You will be notified by ACT Health if you are identified as a casual contact from these sites with higher risks of transmission.

What do I need to do if I’m notified as a casual contact from a higher risk exposure site?

The advice for casual contacts remains the same. You must:

The number of tests you need, depends on how many days ago you were at the exposure location.
The day you were at the exposure location counts as day zero.

If you were at the casual contact exposure location less than 4 days ago, you will need two tests.

  • You need to get a test as soon as you find out you are a casual contact.
  • You will need to get another test on day 5 after you were at the casual contact exposure location.
  • You need to remain in quarantine until you receive a negative test result from the 2nd COVID-19 test.

If you were at the casual contact location 4 or more days ago, you only need to get one test

  • You should get tested as soon as possible.
  • You will need to remain in quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

There has been a COVID positive person in my place of employment/ one of my colleagues is confirmed as having COVID-19, but I have not yet received information on what it means for me, what do I need to do?

ACT Health will contact you to confirm if you are a close or casual contact from an exposure at your place of employment. ACT Health may send this message through employers to facilitate this process.

There has been a COVID positive person in my place of employment/ one of my colleagues is confirmed as having COVID-19, but I have not heard from ACT Health, what do I need to do?

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not go to work. Get tested as soon as possible and isolate until you get a negative result.
  • ACT Health will contact you if you are a casual or close contact. ACT Health may send this message through employers to facilitate this process.
  • You do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms or are directed to by ACT Health.
acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: October 21 2021