COVID-19 Recovery


NSW Reopening Roadmap 

The NSW government has unveiled its amended roadmap since NSW opened on Monday 11 October 2021, after the state passed the 70% double vaccination target.

Restrictions were further eased on Monday 18 October 2021, particularly for vaccinated people, as the state met the 80% double vaccination milestone. Refer to the rules at 80% full vaccination here.

From 1 November, bookings for hospitality venues will no longer be capped, travel between Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast) and regional NSW will be permitted, and overseas arrivals who are fully vaccinated with a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine (including returning Australians) no longer need to quarantine for 14 days.
From Wednesday 1 December 2021, NSW is expected to continue opening up to NSW people, whether vaccinated or not. Refer to the expected rules from December here.
For up-to-date information on reopening and vaccinations, visit the NSW government COVID-19 webpage.

Service NSW App 

Using the updated Service NSW app, you can now show proof of vaccination when checking in using the NSW Government QR code. For more details on how you can add your COVID-19 digital certificate to enable quicker check-in, refer here.

NSW Self-Isolation Rules

  • Everyone, vaccinated and not vaccinated, is urged to get tested immediately if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (even if mild) and immediately self-isolate until a negative result is received.
  • Whether vaccinated or not, if a person tests positive for COVID-19, they must: self-isolate at home for 14 days; tell everyone who lives with them that they must self-isolate too; tell their work manager, place of education and people they have been in contact with in the 2 days before they got sick (or 2 days before their test if no symptoms) that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them to get tested and self-isolate.
  • If someone is a close contact of a positive case and fully vaccinated, they must get tested immediately and self-isolate for 7 days after last exposure. They must get tested again on day 6. If they get a negative day 6 result and have no symptoms, they can stop self-isolating the next day. For the following 7 days they must limit movement (e.g. work from home and not attend hospitality venues or high-risk settings even if it is their place of work). They must get tested on day 12. They do not need to self-isolate while waiting for the day 12 test result.
  • If someone is a close contact of a positive case and unvaccinated/partially vaccinated, they must get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days after last exposure. They must get tested again on day 12. If they get a negative day 12 result and have no symptoms, they can stop self-isolating after day 14.
  • If a person finds out that they are a casual contact, they should refer to the guidance here.

National Plan to Transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response 

The National Cabinet has agreed in principle to an updated four-step National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response, taking into account Doherty Institute COVID-19 modelling and the Commonwealth Department of Treasury economic analysis.
A – Vaccinate, Prepare and Pilot (Current Phase)
B – Vaccination Transition Phase
C – Vaccination Consolidation Phase
D – Final Post-Vaccination Phase


Preparing Your Business For Reopening 

The NSW Government has released guidance for businesses and workplaces in relation to preparing for being COVID Safe after reopening, including:
  • COVID-19 Safety Plans – How to ensure that your business is using the latest COVID-19 Safety Plan for your industry and that it is registered.
  • Proof of Vaccination – Which settings will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (or medical exemption) and how customers, staff and visitors can validly show that proof. Plus, when you can ask your employees for proof of vaccination and how to refuse unvaccinated patrons entry to your premises (refer page 2). It is recommended that staff check customers and visitors vaccination status upon entry. Finally, how individuals can get proof of vaccination (refer here) or how people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons can get an accepted medical exemption form.
  • Staff Vaccination Requirements – When you can direct your employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and when a direction will be reasonable.
  • Other Vaccination Obligations – Businesses are responsible for taking “reasonable steps” to prevent unvaccinated people entering their premises.HOw business compliance will be monitored and when penalties may apply for individuals and businesses who do not comply.
  • Mandatory Electronic Check-in – When you will need to have a NSW Government QR code so that staff and customers can check in using the Service NSW app or via the Service NSW business online form. More guidance on how to set up here.
  • Download Posters to Display – Tools and tips on how to educate your customers and staff on COVID-19 safe behaviours and vaccination requirements. It is recommended that you have prominent signs stating requirements.
  • Well-Ventilated Spaces – Why ventilation is important and what you can do.
  • Square Metres Rules – How to apply the square metres rules to calculate the maximum number of people allowed at a venue. Note: capacity limit of one person per four square metres for all indoor public areas.
  • Face Masks Rules – When you need to wear a face mask, when you can remove it and who is exempt. Note: Masks are required for staff and customers who are 12 years and over, in all indoor public venues, as well as for hospitality staff outdoors. Masks are still mandatory on public transport.
  • Managing Customer Aggression – Practical steps businesses can take to prevent workplace violence.

What to do if a worker tests positive for COVID-19

If you are a business who has had a worker test positive for COVID-19, you need to:

  1. Tell the worker who has tested positive for COVID-19 to return home directly and follow the advice from NSW Health.
  2. Ensure the safety of the workplace and workers, for example by cleaning and disinfecting all areas used by the person who tested positive for COVID-19. See further information on cleaning the workplace.
  3. Call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 to give details and if requested, in writing within 48 hours. SafeWork NSW will share this information with NSW Health to assist the contact tracing and management of COVID-19.
  4. Businesses should assess how much contact other workers had with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was infectious in the workplace. Use the Contact Classification Tool (this tool will be available soon), the contact risk assessment matrix for community and workplace settings and any industry-specific guidance to help with this assessment. If you need assistance with this process, call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.
  5. Inform NSW Health if any close contacts are identified.
  6. Advise any worker identified as a close or casual contact to immediately leave the workplace, be tested, return directly home and follow NSW Health advice. They should not wait for official communication from NSW Health. NSW Health will contact people who are confirmed as close contacts, generally by phone call or SMS text message.
  7. Advise workers and contractors of the situation in your workplace. Consult with workers about the identification and management of any remaining health and safety risks.

Alfresco Restart Package 

The NSW Government has announced a raft of initiatives and $66 million in funding that will see outdoor dining, live music and entertainment return.

The Alfresco Restart initiatives being rolled out from November include:

  • The Festival of Place where local streets will be revitalised with murals, art installations, laneway cinemas and more to kickstart a 24-hour economy.
  • Changing the outdoor dining permanently to allow pubs and small bars to implement outdoor dining more easily.
  • Setting up emergency temporary alfresco dining measures for businesses to setup outdoor dining in parks and public spaces.
  • Offering $5,000 grants for hospitality businesses to get their outdoor dining ventures in a park or public space off the ground.