COVID-19 restrictions: State-by-state breakdown
A snapshot of restrictions relevant to retailers. The ARA will keep this post continuously updated.
Current as of 24 July 2021, 12:00pm AEST.
Quick links to the latest restrictions affecting retail, hair and beauty sectors:
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
- Australian Capital Territory
- South Australia
Encourage safe and respectful shopping with the ARA's new Covid-19 poster range
The Australian Retailers Association has developed a series of printable posters in response to the ongoing Covid-19 situation across the country, to promote a safe shopping environment for both customers and staff. Click here for more information.
Shop Respectfully posters
In response to the increased reports of customer aggression towards front-line retail staff at this time, we have developed a #ShopRespectfully campaign.
5 things to do when entering a retail store poster
For stores with limited display space, this poster is a 5-step guide for customers to ensure they are shopping safely, following COVID-19 requirements and being respectful of staff and others.
Stay safe, stay respectful poster
A reminder to customers to stay safe and stay respectful while in your store. To be used in conjunction with any state or territory restrictions in place for retail settings.
Australian Government Department of Health posters
The Australian Government Department of Health have translated COVID SAFE posters in the top 10 languages spoken by multicultural communities in South West Sydney.
New South Wales
New authorised worker restrictions for Blacktown and Cumberland LGAs
The NSW Government has put new restrictions in place from the beginning of today, Saturday 24 July, for Blacktown and Cumberland Local Government Areas (LGAs). This means residents cannot leave the LGA that you live in for work unless they are an authorised worker.
You can leave home to go to work in the same LGA you live in if:
- the business is allowed to be open
- you cannot work from home.
There are no additional testing requirements if you live in Cumberland or Blacktown LGA unless you are travelling more than 50 kms outside of Greater Sydney for work (in which case you must be tested for COVID-19 every 7 days).
You can go to work in the same local government area you live in if:
- you live and work in the Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield or Liverpool local government areas
- the business is allowed to be open
- you cannot work from home.
COVID-19 testing for Fairfield workers
Other Canterbury-Bankstown authorised workers
Other authorised workers who live in the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area are not required to get tested, but you should get a COVID-19 test if you:
- have any symptoms
- were at a location at the same time as a confirmed COVID-19 case
- come into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
- are working more than 50km from Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas and are required to get a test every 7 days.
Find out more about the rules for Western Sydney.
For details on restrictions for Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Blacktown and Cumberland LGAs, visit the NSW Government website:
Retail in Greater Sydney required to close from 11.59pm on Saturday, 17 July
On the basis of updated health advice, the following changes come into effect across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday, 30 July:
From 11.59pm on Saturday, 17 July:
- Retail premises will be required to close (‘click and collect’, takeaway and home delivery can still operate), except the following can remain open:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores, liquor stores and fishmongers);
- Stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies;
- Pharmacies and chemists;
- Petrol stations;
- Car hire;
- Banks and financial institutions;
- Hardware, nurseries and building supplies;
- Agricultural and rural supplies;
- Pet supplies;
- Post offices and newsagents; and
- Office supplies.
- In addition to the stay-at-home rules, residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland and Blacktown LGAs cannot leave their LGA for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers (including aged and disability workers). Where those workers do need to leave their LGA for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms;
- Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when you are working outdoors, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food; and
- All carpooling to be stopped unless among members of the same household.
From 12.01am on Monday, 19 July:
- All construction to be paused; and
- Non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services, and repair work on residential premises to be paused.
From 12.01am on Wednesday, 21 July:
- Employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000.
NSW COVID-19 lockdown extended until at least 11:59pm Friday 30 July
The NSW Government has today announced the lockdown in Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, will be extended for at least another two weeks (until 11:59pm on Friday 30 July).
Existing restrictions will remain in place until this time. Online learning for students will also continue for an additional two weeks. Restrictions in regional NSW remain unchanged.
The following additional restrictions are applicable to retail and hospitality settings:
Browsing in shops is prohibited, plus only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping;
People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10kms of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members;
Outdoor public gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of the same household);
Everyone in Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason. The reasons you may leave your home include:
Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person only);
Medical care or compassionate needs (only one visitor can enter another residence to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons);
Exercise with no more than 2 (unless members of the same household);
Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
Rules and restrictions for the Blayney, Cabonne and Orange local government areas
From the beginning of Wednesday 21 July 2021 until the beginning of Wednesday 28 July 2021, the stay at home rules apply to
- people who live in or are temporarily staying in the Blayney, Cabonne and Orange local government areas
- anyone who has been in these 3 local government areas since Saturday 17 July 2021
If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.
A reasonable excuse to leave home is if you need to:
- obtain food or other goods and services
- for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
- for vulnerable people
- leave home to
- go to work if you cannot reasonably work from home
- attend education
- exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your place of residence
- go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.
See the list of other reasonable excuses.
For exercise and outdoor recreation you must stay within your local government area or within 10km of your home. You can exercise with 1 other person who is not from your household. If there are more than 2 people in your household, you can go together for exercise.
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
- indoor areas or common property of residential premises
- if you are working outdoors
- at certain outdoor gatherings
- if you are on public transport
- in a major recreation facility such as a stadium
- at indoor or outdoor areas of a market that predominantly sells food.
Places that are closed
Retail businesses, other than food retailing businesses, are not restricted businesses.
Retail food services including pubs, restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets are not permitted to trade except to offer takeaway or home delivery services. Hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours, massage parlours are required to close. Full list of businesses required to close.
If your premises is permitted to stay open under the public health order, you must follow the rules in place including
More information can be found here: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-regions
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
From week four of a lockdown of a Commonwealth declared hotspot, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase to $600 if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week, or $375 if a person has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work a week.
This payment will become a recurring payment for approved recipients as long as the Commonwealth declared hotspot and lockdown restrictions remain in place.
From 18 July 2021, the payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment.
This support will be offered to any other state or territory that experiences an extended lockdown.
Information on how to apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payments can be found at the Services Australia website.
Small and Medium Sized Business Support Payments
A new business support payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover compared to the equivalent two week period in 2019.
To receive the payment, eligible entities will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.
Eligible entities will receive payments of between $1500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1000 per week.
Businesses can register their interest from 14 July 2021 at www.service.nsw.gov.au
Additional support will be provided through the tax system by:
Making NSW small business grants, including the new small business payments, tax exempt
Providing administrative relief to NSW taxpayers facing hardship, including reduced payment plans, no interest charged on late payments and varying instalments on request
NSW Government Media Release
This NSW Government Gazette in the link below provides the list of premises which must close during this restriction period including: hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, tanning salons, and restaurants, cafes, clubs and pubs for onsite consumption.
Additional COVID-19 testing requirements have been implemented for residents in the Fairfield LGA who work outside their area, and for residents in Greater Sydney who work in regional NSW.
Fairfield LGA - If you live in or are staying in the Fairfield local government area but you work outside this area, you must have a COVID-19 test once every 72 hours (3 days) in order to be allowed to enter a workplace.
Proof of COVID-19 test - You must have proof of your COVID-19 test such as an SMS text message on your phone or an email addressed to you. Employees must show the proof of their test when asked at their workplace by a manager (occupier) or to a police officer. You do not need to get the results of your COVID-19 test before going to or staying at work.
You must get a test every 72 hours (3 days) when you are working outside the Fairfield local government area if you live in or are staying in the Fairfield local government area.
If you test positive, follow the rules for people who are confirmed cases of COVID-19
Entry to a workplace - Follow the requirements if you are the occupier of a premises that is
not a place of residence
located outside the Fairfield local government area.
You must not allow a person to work at your premises unless that person has had a COVID-19 test in the past 72 hours.
You are allowed to ask a person who is at your premises to show you proof that they have had a COVID-19 test in the past 72 hours.
This applies to all people, including employees, contractors and other service providers who:
work at your premises and
live in the Fairfield local government area.
You do not need to get a COVID-19 test before working outside the Fairfield LGA if you live outside the Fairfield LGA.
Entry to a workplace outside Greater Sydney
There are new requirements for workplaces that are:
50km or more outside Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGAs
Has a person work at the premises who lives in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGAs
These employers must not allow a person to start work or remain at their premises unless the person has had a COVID-19 test in the past 7 days.
You are allowed to ask a person who is at your premises to show you proof that they have had a COVID-19 test in the past 7 days.
This applies to all people including employees, contractors and other service providers who work at your premises and live in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGAs.
An exemption is in place so that a worker from Fairfield LGA has until 16 July to be tested and a worker from Greater Sydney has until 18 July to be tested.
More information: COVID-19 rules | NSW GovernmentBack to top>
Restrictions in South East Queensland will be eased from 6am Friday 23 July, with mask wearing to remain in place in affected areas until Friday 30 July.
Restrictions on gatherings and businesses will ease from 6am, Friday 23 23 July in impacted areas, bringing them into line with the rest of Queensland.
However, mask wearing will continue to apply in the impacted LGAs, as well as for anyone who has been in these LGAs in the past 14 days.
- A density quotient of one person per 2sqm apples, or 100 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating
- Private gatherings indoors are limited to a maximum of 100 people
- Businesses with an indoor floor space less than 200sqm can have one person per 2sqm, up to 50 people at a time
- Businesses are reminded that the Check In Qld app is mandatory for hospitality, personal care, and all retail settings
- For residents in LGAs, face masks must be worn when outside your home, unless:
- Eating or drinking
- You are at your workplace and can physically distance from others (except hospitality)
- Alone in your car or outdoors, or with members of your household
- Receiving personal care treatment if required for the service, e.g. for a beard trimming
Lockdown restrictions have been lifted, with some measures remaining in place.
There are no longer any capacity restrictions for venues and events.
Businesses must continue to maintain a COVID Safety Plan and maintain a contact register.
The SafeWA app must be displayed in all retail settings, such as hospitality (including takeaway), supermarkets, department stores, and beauty, hair and personal care services.
From 1pm Friday July 9, all remaining restrictions have been lifted.
The Territory Check-In App will become mandatory for use in all NT businesses, shopping centres, venues and events, no matter the length of visits.
A 24-hour hotline has been established to provide information about the NT lockdown arrangements: 1800 193 111.
Australian Capital Territory
Eased restrictions continue to apply in the ACT, with the face mask requirement ending at 11.59pm on 9 July.
Use of the Check-In-CBR app has expanded to retail and transport. The app is now required in all retail settings, public transport and taxi and rideshare.
Retail settings include supermarkets, petrol stations, takeaway services, clothing stores and department stores.
Venue capacity restrictions continue to apply across a range of sectors, including:
- Hospitality: A 1 person per 2sqm rule applies, or up to 25 patrons for smaller venues
- Hair, beauty and personal services: A 1 person per 2sqm rule applies, or up to 25 patrons for smaller venues
- General retail stores do not have a density limit
Face masks are not mandatory, but encouraged where physical distancing is not possible.
More information: Home - COVID-19 (act.gov.au)
The Victorian Government has announced the extension of its lockdown for a further 7 days until 12.00am, Wednesday 28 July.
The restrictions implemented will be the same as the previous lockdown, and is scheduled to remain in place until 12am, Wednesday 28 July.
Hairdressing, beauty and personal services will remain closed, while essential retail continues to stay open, with a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm.
Victorians must stay at home unless:
- shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day, a support person can accompany if required)
- caregiving or compassionate reasons
- Authorised work or permitted education, or work interstate
- exercise (up to two hours, with one other person or members of your household)
- receive a vaccination
- other specified reasons (specific exemptions apply)
Essential retail includes:
- A supermarket, grocery store, bakery, butcher, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger
- an indoor or outdoor market, but only to obtain groceries or fresh food
- a restaurant, café, pub, bar or hotel, whether licensed or unlicensed, but only to the extent that provides takeaway meals or drinks or a meal delivery service; or provides food, drink, accommodation or other essential services to those seeking shelter (for example, for reasons of homelessness or family violence)
- a bottle shop
- a post office
- a news agent
- a pharmacy
- a petrol station (including a petrol station that sells groceries)
- a pet store
- a ‘click and collect’ service
- a locksmith’s
Victoria will temporarily pause the issuing of Red Zone Permits from 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 July – pending a further review in a fortnight.
For at least the next two weeks, Victorian residents in red zones will require an exemption to enter the state – and these will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
A person will still be able to enter Victoria from a red zone if they are aircrew, listed on the Specified Worker List, or transiting through Victoria to another jurisdiction – e.g. traveling from regional NSW through Mildura to get home to South Australia.
Other retail stores must close, and can only trade online or via click-and-collect.
List of exposure sites: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites
The Victorian Government will continue to provide additional information at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
South Australia entering lockdown at 6:00pm, Tuesday 20 July
From 6.00pm today, Tuesday 20 July, South Australia will be entering a state-wide lockdown for seven days.
There will be just five reasons to leave your home under the Level 5 restrictions:
- Care and compassionate reasons
- Essential work
- Purchase of essential goods
- Medical reasons, including vaccination and testing
- Exercise, only with members from your household
Business restrictions will apply for the length of the lockdown period:
- Essential retail will be allowed to remain open, which includes the following stores:
- Supermarkets and groceries
- Butchers & fishmongers
- Fruit and veg
- Bottle shops
- Hardware stores
- Petrol stations
- Distribution centres
- Click-and-collect and online delivery services can continue to operate for retail
- Hair, beauty, and personal services are closed
- Hospitality is restricted to takeaway or delivery services only
Masks will also be required in all public places.
More information about which stores are considered essential retailers will be available when the new Public Activities Direction is finalised.
The South Australian Government will publish full information at the SA Government COVID-19 Website once the directions are finalised.
All businesses and workplaces are permitted to operate, but must implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan. For more information go to COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.
The number of people permitted at businesses/activities without applying for approval under the Framework (other than households and the premises specified at the section on exceptions to the gathering limits is determined by the density of the area, up to a maximum of:
- 250 people for an undivided space indoors
- 1,000 people in an undivided space outdoors.
Maximum numbers include all people present, including staff, volunteers, event spectators, athletes, coaches, children and babies.
The maximum density rule of 2 square metres per person applies. If the number of people permitted according to the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies.
Where practicable, business operators, staff, volunteers and attendees should maintain 1.5 metres distancing from other people.
For mixed-use venues with multiple indoor or outdoor spaces, the gathering limit applies separately to each single undivided space. For example, a large hotel with multiple, separate indoor spaces (eg conference room, bar, restaurant, foyer, beer garden), is permitted to have up to 250 people for each of these spaces (and the density limit applies).
Business restrictions allow standing activities – like darts, pool, eight-ball, snooker and karaoke – in licensed venues.
A cap on the number of people permitted to stand while drinking alcohol and/or dancing is required because large numbers of people mixing freely and closely while consuming alcohol are very high-risk settings for spreading COVID-19.
- Standing and drinking alcohol and/or dancing is permitted in premises with a liquor licence or liquor permit up to a maximum of 100 people in indoor spaces and 250 people in outdoor spaces, within current density requirements.
- Patrons in other parts of the premises or event can also consume alcohol while sitting down, subject to density requirements.
- For example, a venue with a maximum density capacity of 200 can have 100 people dancing, however the other 100 people must be seated to be drinking alcohol.
Compulsory recording of contact details
Under the Contact Tracing Direction, every person 16 years of age or older attending a range of businesses, organisations and events for at least 15 minutes (including staff) is required to provide their information for contact tracing using the free Check in TAS app.
Operators of the relevant locations are required to register with Check in TAS and prominently display the Check in TAS QR code at all entrances to the premises.
If anyone does not have or cannot use a smartphone or the Check in TAS app, they may be checked in by another person in their group, or by the operator or staff at the premises. If no suitable device is available, their details may be recorded with pen and paper. Businesses are permitted to refuse entry to a person who does not provide the required information.
More information, including when and how staff may manually record contact information, is available at www.checkin.tas.gov.au
More information: Current restrictions | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)