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Business guide to Coronavirus

Restrictions impacting businesses

As the situation with the pandemic evolves, we've collated the latest round of restrictions enforced by each state and territory. 

Last updated: 4.44pm 24 September 2021

Read our summary of the main restrictions and rules for businesses across the country.  To reduce your movement and to stay within a five-kilometre radius, use this tool

LGAs of concern

Many of the restrictions for the areas of concern are now aligned with greater Sydney however rules are still in place for authorised workers in LGAs of concern. You can only leave the LGA you live in to go to work if:

  • the business is allowed to be open and,
  • you are an authorised worker and,
  • you have registered to travel to work outside your local government area and, 
  • you have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

More details are available here

Stay-at-home orders and lockdown rules for greater Sydney are expected to continue some time into October when we have a staged and cautious reopening. This will take place on the Monday after the state achieves 70% double dose vaccination (for those aged 16 and over) for citizens who are fully vaccinated.

In the meantime, only critical retail may remain open including:

  • supermarkets and grocery stores, butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable shops, bottle shops and fishmongers 
  • health, medical, maternity and infant supplies stores
  • pharmacies
  • petrol stations
  • car hire
  • banks and financial institutions
  • hardware and building supply stores, nurseries
  • agriculture, timber and rural supply stores
  • pet supplies
  • post office, office supplies, newsagents

Non-critical retailers must only offer click and collect or online delivery.


From Monday 27 September, construction in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong, can resume with all workers on site with the following rules: 

  • there is no more than one person per four square metres
  • workers from LGAs of concern are authorised workers and can attend work if fully vaccinated.

Also check information relating to renovations, repairs, maintenance and cleaning of homes. 

Travel registration 

Anyone from Greater Sydney (including authorised workers from LGAs of concern) who needs to travel more than 50km outside of Greater Sydney for work purposes (or other valid reasons) must register to travel

All current 14-day registrations are being extended to Thursday 30 September, however if your reason for travel has changed you need to register again. If registering for a new permit, this will be valid until Thursday 30 September.  

Regional NSW

Low risk areas of regional NSW which have had zero cases for at least 14 days emerged from lockdown at 12:01am Saturday 11 September, but some restrictions will remain.  

Regional hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per four square metres inside and one person per two square metres outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per four square metre rule.
  • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per four square metre, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per four square metre rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

Regional lockdowns

Tweed, Bryon Bay and Kempsey went into lockdown at 5pm Tuesday 21 September finishes Wednesday 29 September.

Cowra went into lockdown at 5pm Monday 20 September finishes Tuesday 28 September.

Glen Innes and Hilltops LGAs are in lockdown until 12am Friday 24 September.

Yass Valley went into lockdown Tuesday 14 September and finishes Tuesday 28 September.

From 1 pm Thursday 16 September, the stay at home orders will apply to the following regional LGAs (several LGAs have been removed):

  • Bathurst
  • Bourke
  • Broken Hill
  • Central Coast
  • Central Darling
  • Cessnock
  • Dubbo
  • Eurobodalla
  • Goulburn Mulwarre
  • Kiama
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lithgow
  • Maitland
  • Mid-Western
  • Narromine
  • Newcastle
  • Port Stephens
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Shellharbour
  • Shoalhaven
  • Walgett
  • Wingecarribee

Mask mandate

A state-wide mask mandate is now in place.  A mask must be worn in all settings, except in your home or when doing outdoor exercise. A mask must be carried at all times.

For regional areas coming out of lockdown, mask-wearing remains mandatory for all indoor public venues including retail, workplace offices, hospitality and also extends to hospitality staff working in an outdoor setting. 

All schools in NSW are providing online learning however schools will remain open for children of essential workers or parents with no other options.  A staggered approach to face-to-face learning will commence on 25 October.

Remember, there are harsh penalties for any employer who forces employees to go into an office environment. Service NSW QR code is mandatory at all workplaces and retail businesses.  Businesses need to display the Service NSW QR code. This came into effect on Monday 12 July. 

Now is also a good time to ensure your safety plan is up-to-date. Check the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan for your industry and visit the official NSW Government rules page for more information.  

Victoria's road map to opening up indicates lockdown will end in metropolitan Melbourne when 70% of the population is fully vaccinated, around 26 October

Regional areas will be out of lockdown and there will be some easing of restrictions for eg removal of face masks during beauty services will be permitted, when 80% first dose is achieved. This is expected to be around 26 September

When the state achieves 80% fully vaccinated, regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will have the same rules. This is estimated to be around 5 November.

At 11:59pm Sunday 19 September, the City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire went into lockdown for 7 days.  The Ballarat lockdown was lifted at 11.59pm Wednesday 22 September.

Lockdown for other parts of regional Victoria were lifted at 11:59pm Thursday 9 September.

For areas impacted by the lockdown, only essential businesses will be permitted to open. Cafes / restaurants to offer take away and delivery services only. 

Construction has been shut down for two weeks from 11.59pm Monday 20 September for all lockdown areas – metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire.

Refer to key restrictions and workplace restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne. A curfew is in place between 9pm and 5am. 

Permits are required to leave home for authorised work. 

Face masks are mandatory in all indoor and outdoor settings (except in your home) unless you have a valid exemption.

Click for more updates on Victoria and current restrictions.

The Cairns Regional Council and Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council three-day lockdown ended on Wednesday 11 August. 

Lockdown of the 11 LGAs in South East Queensland – Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim ended at 4pm Sunday 8 August

For other areas of Queensland:

  • indoor premises and indoor events – one person per two square metres or 100% allocated seating and ticketed capacity 
  • no restrictions for self-service food
  • wedding and funerals one person per two square metres or 200 people or 100% allocated seating
  • ticketed venues: 100% capacity with allocated seating.

It is mandatory to carry a mask at all times. Masks must be worn in all indoor settings (with the exception of your home) and anywhere outdoors when you can’t physically distance.

As the situation may evolve, keep up-to-date on Queensland restrictions

The ACT lockdown that commenced 5pm Thursday 12 August has been extended to 12am Friday October 15

Only essential businesses and retailers to remain open.  All retailers are to discourage browsing by customers. 

All hospitality to provide takeaway options only.

From 5pm Thursday 2 September anyone who works in an outdoor setting such as gardeners and landscapers can return to work under COVID-safe requirements. 

Note the government is having conversations with construction industry stakeholders on COVID-safe requirements that would allow parts of the construction sector to recommence. 

Mask wearing is mandatory outside of your home and with the exception of vigorous physical activity or if you have a health condition.

For public schools, children will learn from home. Face-to-face teaching is still available for children of essential workers. Children 13 years and older must wear masks.  Child care services including out-of-school care to remain open but parents are encouraged to keep children home. 

Check In CBR remains mandatory. This rule came into effect Thursday 15 July.

Read more on the lockdown or refer to COVID-19 information and advice for the ACT.  

Restrictions for Perth and Peel ended Monday 12 July 2021 and there are no capacity restrictions for venues and events.  

Businesses require a COVID Safety Plan and must keep a contact register. 

Read the latest on WA.

The snap lockdown for Greater Darwin and Katherine has been lifted.

Hospitality businesses are open for seated service only. Patrons will be required to wear a mask when they go to the bar to order but this can be removed when seated and eating and drinking.

A reminder The Territory Check In QR Code system is mandatory for all businesses. 

Refer to Stay Safe Northern Territory for more information. 

There are Level 2 restrictions in place. 

All retail, personal care and hospitality may operate however a COVID Mashall is required for the following: 

  • food courts, cafes, restaurants, fast food (food and drinks must be consumed while seated whether indoors or outdoors)
  • gyms, fitness centres, public pools
  • supermarkets, hardware stores and distribution centres
  • personal care services, entertainment, casino or gaming – where food and or beverages are being served. 

Note the density requirements are one person per two square metres. 

Masks are required in all indoor settings (outside of your home) and all high-risk settings. 

More information is available on the SA government page. 

Hospitality venues – restaurants, cafes, food courts, pubs, clubs, bars, RSLs and community clubs can accept up to 250 people per undivided indoor space and up to 1,000 people per undivided outdoor area at any one time.

The density limit at these premises is one person per two square metres. If the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies

Dancing / drink while standing is applicable for up to 100 people for indoor venues and up to 250 people for outdoor venues.

For all dine-in venues patrons must provide contact details and time of entry of at least one member of their group for possible contact tracing purposes.

Keep up-to-date with business restrictions

Tips to stay safe

  • practice good hand hygiene – wash your hands well or sanitise regularly
  • keep to the social distancing rules in your state / territory
  • never go out if you are unwell unless you’re getting tested and then go straight home
  • get tested if you have the mildest of symptoms
  • make an appointment to be vaccinated (if eligible)
  • implement a COVID Safety Plan and provide a QR code for customers / patrons to do a Covid check-in. 

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