As at midnight on Monday April 6, it’s illegal for people in NSW to leave home unless it’s for the right handful of reasons (announced end of March but being refined in daily practice this week).

There’s still some confusion about whether you can go out with your family or people in your household with whom you are isolating anyway.



The bottom line is you can’t do things that are purely social with anyone and when you do go out for essentials, the key is to keep moving – although not too far from home!

If you are questioned when out, the acceptable reasons are that you’re …

  • Getting food or other goods/services including childcare
  • Meeting medical, pharmacy or mental health needs
  • Getting social or employment services, domestic violence or victims’ services
  • Out for education or work because you are unable to work or study at home
  • Exercise (max 2 people, maintaining distance)
  • Caring for or helping someone less able or a vulnerable person
  • Reacting to an emergency, donating blood, meeting legal obligations, attending wedding or funeral
  • People aged over 70, or over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 have been strongly advised to stay home because they’re vulnerable to a more severe illness. But no States are fining seniors or other more vulnerable people for being out if it’s for the right reason.

A few FAQs answered:

Q: Can I eat takeaway as soon as I’ve bought it? – Yes, but be careful: Don’t stop, sit and eat it or you could be fined even if you are not near anybody else. Eat it while on the move or back at home.

Q: Can I move house? – Yes.

Q: Can I visit my immediate family if we don’t live together? – No, not if it’s purely social. It’s counted as ‘care’ if you visit family to help them by delivering food, medicine or taking them shopping for essentials or to a medical appointment or similar necessity.

Q:  Can I visit my partner who does not live with me? – As it’s written, the new laws suggest visiting a romantic partner is social hence not allowed but Police Commissioner Fuller has said that this would come under ‘care’ if the couple did not co-habit so it’s allowed.

Q: Can I get a coffee with a friend or someone from my immediately family? – Yes, if it is takeaway and you and the friend are exercising (1.5m apart) and don’t stop and ‘loiter’.

Q: Can I sit on the beach with my family? – No, you are there for exercise – you can walk, run swim but not sit so keep moving.

Q: How far can I travel? – It’s not specified but holidays are not on; to travel much beyond your town or city you need to be fulfilling an important need or obligation in line with those above and an address.

Moving right along with the evolving regulations means staying up to date. Things might change so keep listening to the Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, who says he is personally reviewing all fines for insufficient distancing/isolation. And you can follow the NSW Government’s latest on these rules here.