Changes to lockdown rules often lead to two things: mass confusion and frantic googling. And that was very much the case when NSW introduced a slew of new rules over the weekend, with hefty fines for those who breach them.
At a glance: people in Greater Sydney (and that includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour) can now only shop, exercise, and engage in outdoor recreation within their local government area (LGA), or within five kilometres of their home.
In the local government areas of concern – Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and the Penrith suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys – the five-kilometre rule stays in place.
The new rules, which came into effect on Monday, 16 August, include changes to the singles bubble and outdoor recreation. But these differ between the areas of concern and Greater Sydney.
Here’s what you need to know.
Does my intimate partner need to live within 5km of me to visit?
PEDESTRIAN.TV reached out to NSW Health to triple check this, and it confirmed intimate partners are not included in the five-kilometre rule (yay) across the state.
Does my nominated single bubble person also need to live within 5km?
If you live in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour) and are NOT in an area of concern, then nope! The five-kilometre limit does not apply. You also don’t need to register your single bubble person.
If you do live in one of the areas of concern, then your nominated buddy must live within five kilometres of you and you also need to register them.
(In a chaotic turn of events, NSW Health says the form to register your single bubble buddy won’t be available until August 21…. six days from now. Cool!)
For those who live in regional and rural NSW, which was plunged into lockdown over the weekend, your nominated visitor must live in the same local government area as you. And there’s no need to register them.
In all cases, there are some rules for your single bubble buddy, including:
- Your nominated visitor can only be one person (and their dependent kids, if there are no alternative care arrangements)
- Can visit you more than once
- Is not a nominated visitor for another person
- Can travel by car with you to exercise outdoors
What’s the go with “outdoor recreation” in the areas of concern?
So, from 12:01am on August 16, you are only allowed to exercise outside, as well as supervise children in the LGAs of concern. Again, that’s Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith
“Outdoor recreation” has been nixed.
“In the LGAs of concern, it will no longer be acceptable to leave your home for outdoor recreation, meaning gathering at parks or outside takeaway shops or cafes is not on. Enough is enough. If you do it, you will get fined,” Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said.
The fine for breaching the two-person outdoor exercise/recreation rule is $3,000.
All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.
Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.