COVID-19 restrictions are in force for New South Wales and extended for at least another four weeks until Saturday, 28 August. Here’s what you need to know about the lockdown and where to get tenancy support.

New COVID-19 measures are now in place across New South Wales.

What ongoing restrictions are in place from 6:00 PM on 26 June?

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, given the ongoing number of infectious cases in the community, the current lockdown will be extended for at least another four weeks until Saturday, 28 August.

From 6:00 PM on Saturday, 26 June, these are the only reasonable excuses to leave home:

A reasonable excuse is if you need to

  • obtain food or other goods and services
    • within 10km of your home, or your local government area or cross into another local government area if it is within 10km of your home (limited to 5km from Monday 16 August 2021) and it is not a local government area of concern (unless the food or goods or services or their equivalent are not reasonably available locally)
    • for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes (including pets)
    • for vulnerable people
    • only one person per household may leave home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own). 
  • leave home to go to work if
    • you cannot reasonably work from home and
    • the business is allowed to be open and
    • you comply with relevant rules for COVID-19 tests for Sydney workers. 
  • leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise and take outdoor recreation within your local government area or, if you need to cross into another local government area, stay within 10km of your home (limited to 5km from Monday, 16 August 2021) and do not enter a local government area of concern
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

See the list of other reasonable excuses.

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Face masks

In Greater Sydney, when you leave home, you must carry a face mask with you at all times. 

You must wear a face mask:

  • in all indoor areas of non-residential premises
  • at certain outdoor gatherings
  • if you are on public transport
  • in a major recreation facility such as a stadium
  • if you are working in a hospitality venue
  • in indoor and outdoor areas of construction sites, except when an exemption applies, such as when
    • wearing a face mask creates a safety issue or
    • there is a worksite emergency
  • when working in an outdoor area.

You must wear face masks at indoor or outdoor areas of a fresh food market, including: 

  • Sydney Markets at Flemington Markets
  • Sydney Fish Markets. 

For more information on the current restrictions, news updates and FAQs, visit the NSW Government website.

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Moving home during the lockdown

A reasonable excuse is if you need to

  • move to a new place of residence within Greater Sydney or
  • move between different places of residence within Greater Sydney or
  • inspect a potential new place of residence within Greater Sydney.

From 16 August 2021, it is a reasonable excuse for you to

  • move to a different place of residence outside Greater Sydney if
    • you are moving for work, and other people (such as the people you live with) do not move with you or
    • the movement is for urgent maintenance or repairs or animal welfare, and only one person moves to the other place of residence to attend to the urgent need 
  • inspect a potential new place of residence outside Greater Sydney if you
  • have a genuine intention to move to and live at the new place of residence as soon as practicable (not an investment property) or
  • are moving to a new place of residence outside Greater Sydney.

It is a reasonable excuse to:

  • supervise or facilitate a business moving to new premises.

 See the list of other reasonable excuses.

I’m renting. Where can I get help during the Greater Sydney lockdown?

If you’re looking for extra tenancy support during the Greater Sydney lockdown, these organisations may be able to assist you in a range of areas.

OrganisationPhoneWebsite
Tenants’ Union of NSWLocal service contacts are available on the websiteTenants Union of NSW
National Debt Hotline1800 007 007. Weekdays, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM.National Debt Hotline
Salvation Army13 72 58Salvation Army
‘Ask Izzy’ search tool (find local services in your area)N/AAsk Izzy
Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre1800 015 188, 24/7Safe Steps
Financial and other support (NSW Government)N/ANSW Gov COVID-19 Financial Support
Lifeline Australia13 11 14, 24/7Lifeline Australia

Real estate open inspections

The following activities must not occur in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

  • Auctions that people attend in person.
  • Open inspections of properties, although inspections may be conducted by private appointment for one person only.

Greater Sydney COVID-19 renter protections (past and current)

As a result of the ongoing lockdown in Sydney, the NSW Residential Tenancy Support package has been extended.

If you’re renting in Sydney and have lost at least 25% of your income, you can now access an extra $1,500 in rent assistance (or a total of $3,000 in government-provided financial support).

If your landlord negotiates a rent discount with you, the $3,000 can be factored into the reduction straight away or gradually spent over time.

An announcement has been made about a new short-term moratorium on evictions for residential tenants.

For COVID-19 impacted tenants who accrued rent arrears between 15 April 2020 and 26 March 2021 (the moratorium period):

  • Landlords will only be able to evict for these arrears if they have first attempted to negotiate a repayment plan in good faith. It also has to be fair and reasonable to evict.
  • The tenant cannot be evicted unless they have failed to meet the agreed payment on two consecutive occasions.
  • Tenants and landlords will continue to be able to apply to NCAT to terminate tenancy agreements based on hardship.
  • Existing agreements about the waiver or deferral of rent payment will not be affected.
  • Landlords can’t evict using the ‘no grounds’ eviction process unless it is fair and reasonable.
  • Tenants are permanently protected from being listed on tenancy databases

These measures end on 26 September 2021.

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