From Monday, 23 November - Increased capacity for outdoor religious services, also outdoor events such as concerts:
For outdoor religious services - Up to 500 people outdoors, provided the audience is seated (with 1 person per 2 square metres if assigned a seat, or 1 person per 4 square metres if seated in an allocated seated area (e.g. where the grass is marked or on picnic rugs)
Increased capacity for outdoors singing and carols:
Up to 30 singers will be permitted outdoors, subject to COVID-safe requirements (the limit of 5 remains for indoor venues). The audience or congregation may participate in the singing, but anyone 12 years or older must wear a mask.
Increased capacity for controlled outdoor events (such as concerts) that are ticketed and held in an enclosed or fenced area:
Up to 3000 people can attend with 1 person per 2 square metres if assigned a seat, or 1 person per 4 square metres if seated in an allocated seated area (e.g. where the grass is marked or on picnic rugs).
In addition, capacity at funerals will increase to 300 people from 1 December.
New Year's Eve - for details of New Year's Eve celebrations check the NSW Govt website here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/major-events/new-years-eve
Special exemption will allow more people to attend Remembrance Day services;
An exemption to the usual limit on of 30 people for outdoor gatherings will apply for NSW Remembrance Day services, which will allow gatherings of up to 100 people in a COVID Safe way.
The one-off exemption will apply for services at NSW community war memorials. All services must:
comply with current social distancing measures
have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
COVID-19 restrictions for religious gatherings and gyms eased from Friday 23 October 2020.
Under the eased restrictions:
religious gatherings and places of worship (excluding weddings and funerals) can have up to 300 people attending
NSW gyms will only be required to have a COVID-19 safety marshal if there are more than 20 people in the gym at one time.
People attending religious services will be required to provide personal details in case of contact tracing. The use of face masks is strongly recommended for all services.
COVID-19 safety plans must be in place for all religious gatherings and gyms across NSW.
People attending gyms are reminded to follow the COVID-19 recommendations to help stop the spread of the virus:
visit facilities during quieter periods
practice good hygiene before, during and after working out
maintain physical distance at all times
wipe down equipment with disinfectant after each use.
for more info on COVID-19 rules in NSW go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Numbers to increase for gatherings in outdoor public spaces and group bookings at restaurants in NSW, from Fri 23rd October.
From Friday 23rd October:
• 30 people can gather outdoors in public spaces (previously this was 20);
• 30 customers per booking, and 30 customers per table at hospitality venues (previously the rule was a maximum of 10);
• In addition, as of Friday 16 October, corporate functions of up to 300 people can now be held at any appropriate premises, including at restaurants, subject to a COVID-Safe plan (previously just function centres).
Additionally, from 1 December, the number of people who can attend weddings will be lifted to 300 people subject to the four square metre rule indoors and two square metre rule outdoors. This advance notice is intended allow people to make plans and book venues knowing the capacity ahead of time.
Businesses wishing to take advantage of the relaxed restrictions must use electronic methods, like QR codes, to record and keep contact details.
Increased numbers of patrons allowed in outdoor hospitality venues from Fri 16th Oct
From Friday, 16 October 2020 restrictions at hospitality venues in NSW will be eased to allow one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas (previously this was one person per four square metres).
Businesses wishing to take advantage of the relaxed restrictions must use electronic methods, like QR codes, to record and keep contact details.
More details can be found here https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/covid-19-restrictions-eased
Increased numbers allowed for outdoor music events in NSW from 13th Oct 2020
Under changes effective immediately, 500 people will be able to attend outdoor seated music performances and rehearsals, subject to the four square metre rule and people being seated (previously only 20 people were permitted).
Organisers of outdoor music performances or rehearsals are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which must cover:
wellbeing of the audience
physical distancing requirements for audience
hygiene and cleaning requirements
record keeping of all attendees.
From Sat 26th Sept - More families can attend community sports, more school and inter-school activities allowed, and a modest increase to dancing at weddings.
Up to 20 people in the official wedding party to take to the dance floor, where previously only the happy couple were permitted
From this weekend (i.e. Sat 26th Sept), more than one parent may now attend community sporting activities if physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained between people that are not from the same household.
Accommodation facilities and overnight event organisers should develop and implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
All carpooling should continue to be avoided.
Changes to Term 4 school guidelines include:
Community Languages Schools Program will recommence face to face learning
interschool activities can recommence on September 26 2020 where there is a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place
playing wind instruments, singing and chanting is permitted with strict restrictions
Year 6 formals and graduations are permitted
high school formals are permitted from 12 November 2020 to limit any HSC disruption
Kindergarten orientation, Year 7 transition, excursions and camps can resume with strict guidelines.
Musical ensembles can also resume, as long as players keep a 1.5 metre distance from one another, or three metres for players of non-reeded woodwind instruments.
There is no restriction on school holiday travel within NSW for people who live within the state however, anyone who is unwell should defer travel plans and get tested.
For more details go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Individuals can be fined if more than 20 people gather at one time at a home;
From Monday 14 September 2020, changes to the NSW public health order for restrictions on gathering and movement came into effect.
If there are more than 20 visitors at a home, every person will be held individually responsible for a breach of the public health order. (Previously it was only the home owner or event organiser - now each individual can be fined).
Venues can take bookings for weddings and events to be held in the future for more people than allowed under current rules, as long as the rules that apply when the event is held are obeyed.
Up to 150 people are allowed to attend a wedding service at a place of public worship.
People attending an on-site auction or viewing a home to lease or buy the property are exempt from the 20 visitor rule and will not be counted as visitors.
Real estate agents must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place for viewings or inspections of on-site open homes and for public auctions.
For more details go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules
Clarification on local sporting activities from Dugald Saunders MP
Member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, has issued a statement about updated advice he has received on about the new restrictions for community sport that started on Wed 19th August.
“The updated advice says that in regional NSW, existing competition structures or scheduling should aim to minimise the need for overnight travel,” Mr Saunders said.
“As a result, existing competitions within our region such as rugby union, rugby league, soccer, AFL, netball and so on can continue as they have been.
“With regards to any semi-professional sport, this can continue with a COVID safety plan in place, with an emphasis on full compliance with all elements of the plan."
Further information on the most recent advice in relation to community sport is available here... https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/faqadvicesport.pdf
New restrictions on community sports activities - starting Wed 19/8/20
Community sports organisations are already required to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
In addition, from Wed 19th August they are to implement the following updated public health recommendations:
Cease activities that result in the mixing of participants and staff from different regions, for example by ceasing zone, regional or state championships or competitions
Cease any activities that result in overnight stays (e.g. multi-day training camps) due to increased risk of COVID transmission in residential-type settings with shared facilities
Cease face-to-face social activities relating to community sports (e.g. award ceremonies, end-of-season social gatherings, post-training group dinners)
Avoid carpools or bus travel with people from different household groups where possible
For local activities, limit spectators to one parent only, where the child requires parental supervision during the sporting activity.
Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer NSW Ministry of Health, anticipates that these recommendations will need to be in place for the next 6 weeks.
Changes at all NSW Schools - from Wed 19/8/20
Starting 19th August NSW Health requires schools to:
exclude students and staff with even mild symptoms of COVID-19
encourage immediate testing for any symptomatic children or staff
prohibit return to school for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 until a negative COVID test result has been reported
ensure that adults maintain physical distancing at all times
ensure good hand hygiene at all times (e.g. upon entry to the school, entry to the classroom and upon exit of the classroom)
for activities that result in the mixing of students and staff from schools from the local area (e.g. local inter-school sports competitions), develop and ensure compliance with a COVID safety plan based on the COVID safety plan template for community sport activities
for local activities, limit spectators to one parent only, where parental supervision is required
carefully consider face-to-face professional learning for staff and, if proceeding, ensure COVID safety through physical distancing and limiting group numbers, and
avoid professional learning activities that require staff to mix across schools.
The following must not happen at all;
activities that result in the mixing of students of schools from different regions, such as sporting-related activities, drama and debating
school-related group singing or chanting activities and use of wind instruments in groups
school-related social activities (e.g. school formals, dinners or dances; graduation ceremonies; or parent engagement functions)
school-related overnight events (e.g. retreats, camps, excursions) as there is increased risk of transmission of the virus in a residential type setting with shared facilities
Changes to rules for extension of Jobkeeper - announced 7/8/20
The Federal Government has announced that for businesses to be eligible to continue receiving Jobkeeper support payments after September 28th 2020, they will now only be required to show the required a drop in revenue for the 3 months from July to September this year.
For most businesses the drop in revenue you need to show is 30% compared to the same period last year (businesses with an annual turnover of $1-Billion or less).
This 30% drop is for the total across the 3 months, so even if one of those months doesn't drop by 30% you could still be eligible.
You can check here for more details;
Also employees only need to have been employed by the business at 1st July 2020 to qualify (previously it was 1 March). So if you started work at a business between those two dates you might now qualify for Jobkeeper.
Travel restrictions between NSW, VIC and QLD;
Starting 12.01am Friday 7th August;
NSW residents returning from Victoria must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
All returning NSW residents, unless they live within the NSW border regions, will only be allowed to return to NSW through Sydney Airport. (There is a border permit system for residents of border towns, which does not apply in the local 2MG listening area).
For more details https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Starting 1am Sat 8th Aug;
QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the border with New South Wales will close.
As of 1am, Saturday August 8, all visitors will be denied entry to QLD except for rare exemptions, and returning Queenslanders will have to pay for 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has declared all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as hotspots.
For more details on QLD rules https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
Wearing masks now "strongly encouraged" in high-risk public settings in NSW. (from August 2nd)
The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant recommends:
The use of face masks in any indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, for example on public transport or in supermarkets
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.
This applies to all of NSW, but is especially encouraged in areas where there has been community transmission.
You can find more info about masks here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/face-masks
New rules for gyms and fitness centres in NSW - from 1st Aug
From Sat 1st August all gyms and fitness centres must:
have and register a COVID Safety Plan
have a dedicated COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal on duty at all times.
Gyms and fitness centres must take all reasonable steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The NSW Govt says COVID Safe Hygiene Marshals will play a key role in keeping gyms safe and compliant, assisting with maintaining social distancing, cleaning equipment after use and making hand sanitiser available for customers.
Everyone must wear a mask when visiting any hospitals - started 24/7/20
Hospitals and health services across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) have implemented new state-wide requirements for staff and visitors to wear face masks.
All visitors must wear a mask when they are in any NSW health facilities.
You can wear your own masks as long as it is in good condition.
All health services will have posters on display, to assist visitors use their masks correctly.
If visitors have underlying health issues that they believe might prevent them from wearing a mask, they should contact their local health service before they visit to get advice.
All staff caring for or working within 1.5 meters of any patient are now also be required to wear surgical masks.
Where possible, patients coming to a health service will be required to wear a mask and those patients already in hospital may be required to wear a mask outside their room.
At this stage, children 12 years old and under are not required to wear a mask if they do not have any symptoms.
Reduced patron numbers for clubs, restaurants, bars & cafes from 24th July 2020.
Also changes to number attending weddings and funerals.
From Friday, 24 July 2020 the following rules will be in force as NSW
Compliance measures introduced to pubs on 17th July will be extended to restaurants, bars cafés and clubs.
1. limiting group bookings to a maximum of 10 people
3. a digital record must be created within 24 hours.
Weddings and corporate events will be limited to 150 people subject to the four square metre rule and registration as a COVID-Safe business. Strict COVID-Safe plans must be in place and high-risk activities including choirs and dancing must not occur.
Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people, subject to the one person per four square metre rule and a COVID-Safe business registration.
The rules on gatherings remain the same: 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place. However, as the home is a high transmission area, the NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends a COVID-Safe precautionary approach of limiting visitors to the home to 10 people as a general principle.
For more info on NSW Govt regulations relating to COVID-19
Changes to rules for NSW Pubs from Fri 17th July - includes reduced maximum group booking size of 10 people
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new rules for pubs and clubs, agreed to by the NSW Australian Hotels Association, will come into force at 12:01am Friday 17 July 2020.
The Premier also said it is critical people remember when they are at a venue they remain seated. This reduces the risk of transmission. Please co-operate with venue staff and follow the rules.
Under the new measures, pubs across NSW will be required to implement the following:
the number of people per booking or table will be reduced from 20 people to 10
a cap of 300 people in a venue at any one time
compulsory COVID-Safe registration through Service NSW
a dedicated COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall in distinctive clothing must oversee social distancing, cleaning and hygiene at the venue
large hotels with a capacity of greater than 250 people are to have a COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall on duty whenever the hotel is open
smaller hotels with a capacity of less than 250 are to have a COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall employed in peak periods (lunch 12pm to 3pm and dinner 5pm to 9pm)
paper sign-in will still be permitted, but hotels must create a digital record of patron names and phone numbers (excel or word) to be submitted within 24 hours
ensure all patrons provide their name and contact details accurately
encouraged to strongly promote QR code sign-in.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________NSW - VIC border to be closed Wed 8th July due to outbreaks in Melbourne
As of Tuesday 7th July residents from Greater Melbourne are now not allowed to enter NSW until further notice.
In addition the NSW Government will close the border with Victoria from 12:01 am Wednesday 8 July 2020.
Returning NSW residents will be required to go into 14 days of self-isolation.
There will be provisions in place for residents of border regions.
Details on permits, special conditions for freight operations and other critical services, and provisions for residents of border regions will be available soon on the NSW Govt website. Here's the link...
MWRC Libraries have re-opened
From 1st July Mudgee, Gulgong, Kandos and Rylstone Libraries all moved to the next stage of reopening which includes a return to normal operating hours.
This includes Saturday opening hours for Mudgee, Gulgong and Kandos libraries. A full list of hours for each library can be found on Council’s website.
All floors of Mudgee Library are open to the public, including meeting rooms for hire with the one person per four square metres applying.
Half hour bookings of public PCs will be available with physical distancing and customers can contact the library to book.
Customers will be invited back for extended stays for the purpose of reading and study, but are encouraged to stay for no more than two hours.
The Mobile Library Van will continue deliveries to those people unable to attend a library, deliveries can be arranged by contacting the library.
Staff will continue to follow COVID SAFE quarantining and cleaning of returned items.
Council says all these measures are in place for the protection of the community and staff.
From 1st July in NSW - Sport can resume, large crowds allowed at some events, 50 person rule dropped for indoor venues
The NSW government has announced that from 1st of July the following activities will be allowed;
Kids’ sport and community sports competitions for those aged 18 years and under.
Adult community sport.
The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the one person per 4 square metre rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres. All activity must be seated only.
Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25% of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
Remember, because something is now allowed does not mean every venue or event will be able to open or operate.
In some cases the restrictions still in place might mean it is not yet viable for them.
So always check first with the venue or organiser and be prepared to book a place for most venues and activities for some time yet.