All the Covid rules that have changed in NSW from Wednesday

A number of Covid restrictions have been eased further across New South Wales on Wednesday as part of the government’s updated roadmap.

These changes, which were first set out by Premier Dominic Perrottet in November, will give further freedoms for all NSW residents, including unvaccinated people.

Although NSW is yet to hit the 95 per cent double vaccination mark, the next stage came into effect from 12.01am on Wednesday, December 15 – just in time for Christmas.

As part of the “opening up” of NSW, unvaccinated people will be able to enjoy many of the same freedoms as fully vaccinated residents, including statewide travel and access to restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hairdressers.

Premier Dominic Perrottet at press conference announcing Covid roadmap
Premier Dominic Perrottet first unveiled the new roadmap for all NSW residents in November. Source: Getty

The new rules for all NSW residents, regardless of vaccination status include:

Masks and QR codes

  • Masks only required on public transport, planes, in airports, and for unvaccinated front-of-house hospitality staff

  • QR check-ins only required at hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services, pubs, nightclubs, strip clubs, sex on premises and indoor music festivals with over 1,000 people

Visiting family and friends

  • No limit to home visitors, or outdoor public gatherings

  • All visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes are permitted in line with their policies

NSW family celebrate Christmas together following new Covid rules
Christmas celebrations should go ahead for most families, with no caps on visitors to homes. Source: Getty

Exercise and recreation

  • No caps for gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities

  • Indoor swimming pools open

  • Community sports are permitted for all staff, spectators and participants

Events and entertainment

  • No caps on stadiums, theme parks, cinemas, theatres, art galleries, museums and libraries

  • No caps on outdoor public gatherings

  • Nightclubs, strip clubs and sex on premises venues open

  • Music festivals reopen (20,000 person limit)

  • Proof of vaccination required for indoor music festivals (over 1,000 people) and cruises (over 100 passengers)

Shopping and personal services

  • All retail reopens to all

  • No caps on hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours

  • Sex services premises open

NSW hairdressers working inside with masks as part of new roadmap
NSW hairdressers are now open to all residents, regardless of vaccination status. Source: Getty

Restaurants and hospitality

  • No caps on hospitality venues

  • Singing and dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors for all

  • Drinking indoors and outdoors may be seated or standing


  • Travel between Greater Sydney and regional NSW permitted for all

  • Caravan parks and camping grounds remain open

  • Fully vaccinated international travellers no longer need to quarantine on arrival, but must do a PCR test, be recognised as fully vaccinated by the TGA and have their vaccination status certified by the Commonwealth

  • Unvaccinated international travellers still need to quarantine on arrival for 14 days

However, the roadmap may be “fine-tuned” as NSW Health monitors the situation over the coming weeks.

For the full list of changes to the rules, visit the NSW Government website.

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