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Sydneysider wearing PPE
Photograph: Kate Trifo / Unsplash

Wearing face masks in public will now be mandatory in Greater Sydney

A number of other restrictions have also been announced by the state premier

Maxim Boon

The NSW government has introduced a raft of new restrictions for Greater Sydney. Most notably, for the first time in NSW, wearing a face mask in public will be mandatory in certain situations:

  • In shopping centres, supermarkets and other retail businesses.
  • On public transport.
  • In indoor entertainment venues such as theatres and cinemas.
  • In salons and barbers.
  • In gaming venues.
  • In places of worship.

Hospitality workers, including in hotels and bars, will also be required to wear a mask at all times. The mask mandate will come into effect from midnight on Sunday, January 3, and will be enforced by authorities and the police from Monday. Anyone found to be without a mask could be subject to a $200 fine. 

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced a number of changes to existing operating rules for businesses, which also come into effect from midnight on January 3.

  • Gym classes will be capped at a maximum of 30 participants, down from the previous limit of 50 people.
  • Nightclubs and dance floors in bars will no longer be allowed to operate.
  • Weddings and Funerals will only be able to have a maximum of 100 guests.
  • Outdoor performances will only be able to host a maximum of 500 audience members, down from the previous limit of 1000 people.
  • Large scale outdoor events, such as markets, will be limited to a maximum of 2000 patrons, down from the previous limit of 5000.

All businesses in Sydney will also now be required to use the Service NSW QR code to check-in patrons. The move to make a single check-in technology mandatory has come in response to difficulties contact tracing people in Sydney from venues that have used either a third-party QR code or pen and paper to check-in patrons. 

The one piece of positive news announced by the premier is that the southern zone of the Northern Beaches will no longer be subject to stay at home orders, although the northern part of the Northern Beaches will remain in lockdown until at least January 9.

It's more important than ever to follow health protocols when out in public. Here's our guide to going out safely in Sydney.

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