Australia Day at the pub – What to expect with Covid restrictions

·News Reporter
·4-min read

With Australia Day on the horizon you’re probably wondering about what rules are in place for grabbing a cold drink at your local watering hole, or at restaurants and public events.

Covid-19 has been running rampant across the country and rules remain in place for Australia Day 2022 depending on where you are.

So, how do they affect you?


Looking to grab a drink at the pub on Wednesday? A few rules remain in place.

Singing and dancing is not permitted in hospitality venues across NSW and you are required to wear a face mask unless drinking or eating.

While it isn’t a rule exactly, the state government recommends anyone enjoying a drink do so while seated.

You don’t need to be vaccinated to go to most pubs or restaurant either, but you are required to sign in via a QR code check-in.

Women wearing Australian flags smile at The Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks in Sydney on Australia Day.
Some Sydneysiders enjoy Australia Day celebrations at The Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks in Sydney. Source: Getty Images

There are density limits in place with one person per two square metres.

On Tuesday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet extended the current restrictions until February 28.

"It's better to have the two-square-metre rule than no square-metre rules, and not having the confidence in the community to go out to restaurants and bars," Mr Perrottet told reporters.


Unlike NSW, in Victoria you need to be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption to visit hospitality venues.

Indoor dance floors are closed for anyone looking to have a jig on Australia Day but outdoor ones remain open.

Density limits remain in place too with one person per two square metres.

South Australia

South Australia is currently under level one restrictions.

This means your local pub has 25 per cent capacity if it is indoors and seated.

Outdoor venues are operating at 50 per cent capacity.

Volunteer firefighters take part in the Australia Day Parade in Adelaide.
Volunteer firefighters walk on the streets of Adelaide during an Australia Day Parade. Source: Getty Images

Dancing is also not permitted in indoor venues but singing is allowed if a mask is being worn.

Singing, however, is allowed maskless if it’s being done by a single person performing.

Sorry, that does not include you if you’re looking to bust out Khe Sanh at the RSL on Australia Day for karaoke.


Anyone living in the Sunshine State doesn’t have any rules or restrictions in place at the pub or restaurants.

However, everyone in Queensland does have to have proof of vaccination to enjoy these venues and you have to wear a mask unless you’re seated.

You are also required to check-in each time you visit.


Tasmania has a social distancing rule of one person per two square metres at hospitality venues.

Check-ins are also mandatory to allow for contact tracing and patrons need to wear a mask unless they are drinking or eating.

People are seen watching the cockroach races during Australia Day celebrations at the Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane.
People watch the annual cockroach races at Australia Day celebrations at Brisbane's Story Bridge Hotel. Source: AAP

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has a number of areas, including Alice Springs, where a lockout applies, meaning anyone who is unvaccinated has to remain at home unless they are seeking medical treatment, getting an hour of exercise, buying groceries or providing care for someone else.

A number of areas are also still in lockdown including Utopia Homelands.

Areas not locked down or under a lockout rule require people visiting indoor venues to wear a face mask and keep 1.5 metres away from others.

You also need to show a Vaccine Pass, which is a proof of vaccination, to visit these venues too.

Western Australia

In Perth and Peel, proof of vaccination is required at venues which can hold more than 500 people or that operate after midnight.

Visitors to pubs and restaurants also have to check-in.


Indoor venues in the ACT can have up to 25 people before they are required to socially distance at one person per two square metres.

People going to the pub are allowed to dance, and enjoying a meal or a drink while standing is also permitted.

Face masks are also required unless eating or drinking.

Patrons need to check-in too.

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