Update: Latest on COVID-19 State restrictions

BY Australian Retailers Association
01 July 2020

State governments are continuing to release their next stage plans to aid in the economic recovery and ensure safe work practices. Here is an updated summary of plans announced from around the country.


The NSW Government has announced a further easing on restrictions from July 1. The new rules for keeping the state COVID-Safe will mean: 

  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one
    person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres.
  • Kids’ and adult community sport can recommence.
  • Cultural and sporting events at large stadiums, racecourses and motor racing tracks
    will be allowed up to 25 per cent of their normal seated capacity to a maximum of
    10,000. These events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
  • Alcohol can still be served to seated patrons only, including at conference and function
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can reopen subject to the one person per 4
    square metre rule.

The rules on gathering remain the same: 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in
a public place.

The NSW Government will impose strict penalties on Melbourne residents in outbreak areas who seek to enter NSW in defiance of the NSW public health orders. These orders will incorporate the same restrictions as those being put in place in Victoria.


In light of the recent surge in cases of coronavirus across certain parts of Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced from 11:59pm 1 July, postcodes linked to these outbreaks will go into local lockdown. For now, that includes the following: 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046. These “hot zones” will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions – until at least 29 July. If you live in these locations, there will again only be four reasons to be out: Shopping for food and supplies, care and care-giving, exercise, and study or work – if you can’t do it from home.


From 12 noon on Friday 19 June, the following changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT came into effect:

  • All public gatherings (except for the hospitality sector) set at one person per 4 square metres for each indoor and outdoor space, up to a maximum of 100 people (including staff, trainers and spectators).
  • For the hospitality sector (cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs) gatherings set at 100 patrons for each indoor or outdoor space, or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser. This limit excludes staff.
  • Bars, pubs, and clubs will be able to serve patrons alcohol in groups of up to 10 patrons per booking or table without serving a meal. Patrons are to be seated.

The following can open, observing the one per 4 square metre rule for up to 100 people (including staff) per indoor or outdoor space:

  • Cinemas and movie theatres
  • Open air drive-in cinemas (max. 100 vehicles)
  • Indoor amusement centres, arcades, outdoor and indoor play centres; and
  • Betting agencies.

Further ease of measures, observing the one person per 4 square metre rule for up to 100 people (including staff) per indoor or outdoor space for:

  • Gyms, health clubs, fitness or wellness centres, yoga, barre, pilates and spin facilities, boot camps and personal training
  • Swimming pools
  • Community sport and organised sporting activities
  • Outdoor amusements and attractions
  • Personal services (beauty and nail salons, tattoo and body modification, tanning, waxing, spa and massage parlours)
  • Caravan parks, campgrounds and camp sites


Queensland will be open for visitors from all states and territories except Victoria as of 10 July, while this Friday, small businesses will be allowed to have more patrons under a 2sqm rule.

Travellers from TAS, SA, WA, NSW, NT and ACT will be allowed into Queensland from Friday, July 10. However, they have to fill out a border declaration first. This border declaration is to ensure that no-one has travelled to Victoria in the past 14 days. Anyone who has travelled from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be prevented from entering or will have to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense for two weeks.

Phase 3 has been brought forward for a week and will come into effect midday Friday, 3 July:

  • Up to 100 guests will be allowed at weddings, funerals, house parties and fitness classes
  • Gaming lounges will reopen 
  • Contact community sports will be allowed to resume, with no limits on outside spectators with social distancing
  • The limit of 20 people per space will be lifted at pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes. Larger venues will need to allow for 4 square metres of floor space per patron. Smaller venues will be allowed one person per 2 square metres up to a maximum of 50 for venues between 100 and 200 square metres. 
  • Stadiums will be allowed up to 50 per cent capacity or as many as 25,000 spectators


Western Australia moved to stage 3 on 6 June. This stage includes an increase in the number of people at non-work gatherings, with additional businesses permitted to reopen. Stage 3 restrictions include:

Public gatherings

  • non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people per single undivided space, up to 300 people in total per venue over multiple spaces (100/300 rule)
  • weddings and funerals up to 100 people

Food and beverage

  • food businesses and licensed premises may operate but only with seated service
  • alcohol may be served without a meal at licensed premises (patrons must be seated)
  • food courts can reopen with a seated service

Well-being and health services

  • all beauty services including nail, tanning and waxing salons can resume
  • saunas, bath houses, wellness centres, float centres, spa and massage may reopen (100/300 rule) 

Leisure and recreation

  • gyms, health clubs, indoor sports centres will be able to offer the normal range of activities, including use of all gym equipment (gyms must be staffed at all times and undertake regular cleaning).
  • contact sport and training.
  • playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment are permitted to be used.
  • galleries, museums, theatres, auditoriums, cinemas and concert venues can reopen (during any performance, the patrons must be seated. (100/300 rule)
  • Perth Zoo to open with no patron limit for the whole venue (the 100/300 rule applies to indoor spaces and cafés/restaurants)
  • wildlife and amusement parks can reopen (100/300 rule)
  • arcades (including pool/snooker, ten pin bowling, Timezone), skate rinks and indoor play centres (100/300 rule)

Download the COVID-19 WA roadmap.


South Australia has changed its decision to open its border with Victoria to travellers from July 20, due to the state's ongoing surge in coronavirus cases. The South Australian Government has announced plans to move to Stage 3 by 29 June. While physical distancing of 1.5 m is still encouraged, social distancing requirements within venues will be reduced to one person per two square metres. All businesses, activities and gatherings allowed under Stage 3 are listed in the Public activities direction no 3.

Businesses and defined public activities that do not have a COVIDSafe Plan must complete a plan before they can commence - create a COVID-Safe Plan.


The Premier of Tasmania, Peter Gutwein, has announced that Tasmania will open its borders on 24 July. Over the next four weeks, the Tasmanian Government will put in place a plan to support a safe relaxation of its borders. This will include reviewing the circumstances of other states and territories on a weekly basis, and a formal review of Victoria’s situation in two weeks.

From 26 June, caps on public gatherings no longer apply. This means pubs, restaurants and cafes can service more patrons, in line with the revised density limit, which has decreased from one person per 4 square metres to one person per 2 square metres.

Venues that can open include casinos, nightclubs, gaming venues and food courts (including dine-in). Patrons must be seated in premises where alcohol is sold, meaning activities that are not seated (eg pool, dancing) are not permitted.


The Northern Territory Government eased restrictions further, moving to stage 3 from 5 June onward. Stage 3 easing includes: 

  • Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides beauty therapy and/or cosmetic services including facial care.
  • Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides tattooing or body art such as branding and piercing.
  • Operate all licensed gaming activities including a TAB.
  • Resume officiating, participating and supporting the playing of team sports such as football, basketball, soccer and netball.
  • Attend any cinema or theatre, concert hall, music hall, dance hall, nightclub or any other similar entertainment venue in approved configuration.
  • Attend an amusement venue.
  • Attend a bar without food being consumed.
  • Attend an amusement park, community centre, recreation centre or play centre.
  • Attend an arena, stadium, sporting facility including community and sporting competitions with spectators in approved seating configuration. However, if above 500 people the event requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • All businesses, facilities and services previously restricted can now resume ensuring adherence to key principles.

Businesses or organisations that continued to operate during the restrictions and all businesses previously restricted must complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist. Businesses include:

  • government departments.
  • trades.
  • hairdressers.
  • supermarkets.
  • allied health services.

Guidelines and checklists are now available.

Border Restrictions: Before travelling to another state or territory you should check the rules that your destination has in place. Here are the latest border restrictions for each State and Territory across Australia:

Victoria: Victoria’s borders are open so you can leave and enter Victoria. For all Victorians except those in Melbourne's coronavirus hotspots, there are no restrictions on the distance you can travel. Some Australian states and territories have closed their borders to Victorians or may require visitors to quarantine on arrival.

Source: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/travel-restrictions-covid-19#can-i-travel-within-australia-nbsp

New South Wales: There are no restrictions on crossing the NSW border to or from other states. However, anyone from one of Melbourne's hotspot suburbs is not allowed to enter the state.

Source: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/travel-and-transport-advice

Queensland: From July 10, anyone from any state or territory, except Victoria, will be able to enter the state after signing a border declaration.

Source: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/movements-gatherings

ACT: The ACT's borders did not close throughout the pandemic, and this has not changed.  Anyone coming to the ACT from a known hotspot area, should not attend high-risk settings, such as aged care facilities and hospitals, for a period of 14 days after leaving the hotspot.

Source: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/community/travelling-and-transport#Travelling-interstate

WA: Western Australia's borders remain closed. The state did set a tentative date for reopening borders as part of its plans for "phase 6" of eased restrictions, however this date was put on hold due to the recent situation in Victoria.

Source: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-wa-roadmap

NT: Anyone arriving in the Northern Territory must complete 14 days of quarantine unless they have an exemption. However, for most Australian visitors, there will no longer be quarantine requirements upon arrival from 17 July. However, people who have been to COVID-19 hotspots including those in Melbourne will need to self-isolate for two weeks at their own cost upon arrival.

Source: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/quarantine

Tasmania: All non-essential travellers to Tasmania have to quarantine for two weeks — for residents, they can do this at home, but everyone else must stay at government-provided accommodation. These restrictions will stay in place until at least 24 July.

Source: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania

South Australia: People travelling to South Australia directly from Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia no longer face restrictions (provided they had been in those states for 14 days before departing). People arriving from any other state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days (with the exception of essential travellers). The state is still considering reopening its borders to the ACT and New South Wales before it does the same for Victoria.

Source: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions



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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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