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A Guide to Each Australian State and Territory's Covid19 Updates - August 2020

Home > Adelaide > How To
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published August 3rd 2020
Covid19 Updates from Victoria to the Northern Territory
The Covid19 pandemic continues to be a situation of rapid change. Although it is human nature to come together in support during times of stress, surviving this pandemic demands staying apart to keep us all together. In this time of rapid change, policymakers need to adjust and announce new guidelines and restrictions that aim to keep everyone safe. Events over the past couple of weeks have led to a number of updates, discussed alphabetically by state or territory below.

We're all in this together
We're all in this together

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The ACT is currently under Step 2.2 restrictions, with small changes that came into effect on Friday 17 July 2020. These include:

No limit on the number of people who can visit within each home.
Public gatherings, except for the hospitality sector but including museums, galleries, and libraries, are limited to each person per 4 square metres.
Hospitality (eg. cafes, bars, and restaurants) are set at 100 patrons per indoor or outdoor space.
Cinemas, amusement centres, gyms, community sports, outdoor attractions, choirs, weddings, funerals, and places of worship are all open following the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.

More information on restrictions in the ACT can be found here.

New South Wales (NSW)

At present New South Wales is endorsing the 4 square metres per person rule for most public venues and gatherings, although there are some exceptions such as airports, hospitals, and public transport. More information on the 4 square metre rule and exclusions can be found here, and people in NSW are being asked to wear a mask in places where they are unable to practice physical distancing of 1.5 metres.

A number of small updates were made to the Covid19 restrictions in NSW on 31 July 2020. These include:

Indoor gyms must have a hygiene marshall present, and be CovidSafe.
Up to 20 people may gather together outdoors.
Up to 20 people may visit another household at one time (including children).
Up to 100 people may attend a funeral providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed.
Places of worship can have up to 100 people present at a time, providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed and they are registered as a CovidSafe venue.
Up to 150 people can attend a wedding providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed.
Employers must allow employees to work from home where possible.
International travellers entering NSW will have to enter hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Travellers from Victoria may not enter NSW except under special circumstances.

More information on the current NSW restrictions and guidelines can be found here.

Northern Territory (NT)

Work and travel within the Northern Territory are currently allowed as there is no evidence of community transmission. However, there are some border restrictions for people entering the NT from other states and territories, and from overseas. This includes returning Territorians.

From 17 July 2020, all arrivals in the NT must
Complete a Border Entry Form.
Quarantine at their own expense if entering from a declared Covid19 hot spot.


Although many restrictions were eased on 3 July 2020, recent events have resulted in some increases to restrictions and guidelines. Current guidelines and restrictions include:

Increased restrictions on aged-care facilities with no visitors (except end of life visits) allowed for those located in these Local Government Areas.
Aged care residents may only leave their facility for health care, to attend a funeral, or for an emergency or compassionate reasons.
Other than this, Queenslanders may travel anywhere in Queensland for any reason, and stay overnight within Queensland.
All patrons in food and drink venues must be seated when eating or drinking.
All businesses, museums, art galleries, and libraries may have one person per 4 square metres.
Up to 100 people may attend weddings and funerals .
People should do their best to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times
There are some border restrictions in force for entry to Queensland at present, and anyone crossing the border will need to complete a Border Declaration Pass.

South Australia

South Australia continues to follow its recovery roadmap. This includes:

Up to 100 people may attend weddings and funerals.
Up to 10 people may visit a private home.
People are asked to continue physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres where possible.
Sports, fitness classes, dance classes, and nightclubs can all operate providing there is no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.
People may travel without restriction within South Australia
Travellers from inter-state must complete a Cross Border Travel form.
Travellers from the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia can enter freely.
Travellers from other states and territories will need to quarantine for 14 days.


Tasmania has moved to Stage 3 in the lifting of their restrictions. This includes:

A maximum of one person per 2 square metres is now allowed.
Up to 250 people are allowed in undivided indoor premises other than households.
Up to 500 people are permitted in undivided outdoors spaces.
Up to 20 people are allowed to visit other households.
People may travel and stay anywhere within Tasmania.
Everyone should continue to observe the 1.5 metre physical distancing rule.
People are encouraged to work from home where possible.


Victoria's restrictions have recently been split between restrictions for Melbourne, and restrictions for Regional Victoria as the Victorian State Government is concerned that current restrictions are not slowing the spread fast enough.

For Melbourne these restrictions include:

A curfew that will apply from 8pm - 5am, from 2 August 2020. People will still be able to leave home for work, medical care, and caregiving.
People will need to stay where they slept on 1 August 2020, although there will be exemptions for partners who live apart and for work, if required.
Exercise is to be limited to a maximum of 1 hour each day, up to 5Km from home in groups of 2 (who may or may not reside together), or with as many children as reside in the household.
Shopping is limited to one person per household per day, up to 5Km from home (unless the closest supermarket is further than 5Km from home).
These distance, gathering and time limits don't apply to work, medical care, or compassionate reasons.
TAFE and uni study must be completed remotely.
Schools, childcare, and early education services will be returning to flexible learning across all year levels, except for children of essential workers.
Face coverings are compulsory when outside of the home.
Although some businesses will need to close under Stage 4 restrictions, supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, post offices, newsagents, convenience stores, banks, and outlets selling disability and maternity supplies, and stores selling alcohol will remain open.
Hardware, building, and garden stores will remain open to tradespeople only.
Hairdressers, many retail stores, pubs, food courts, furniture stores, travel agencies, and call centres will be closed under Stage 4 restrictions.

For Regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire), these restrictions include:

Stage 3 restrictions will continue to apply to these areas.
There are only 4 reasons to leave home - to shop for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, to exercise, and to work or study, if you can't work or study from home.
People must wear face masks or coverings when outside of their homes.
People may no longer visit other people's homes.

Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia is currently under Stage 4 of their recovery plan. Although Stage 5 easing of restrictions was intended to have started on 1 August 2020, this has now been pushed back with a tentative date of 15 August 2020. Under Stage 4 restrictions people in WA may:

Gather providing there is space of at least 2 square metres per person.
People may stand while eating or drinking at food businesses and licensed premises.
Sports and entertainment venues may operate at up to 50% capacity.
People are encouraged to return to work or study unless they are unwell or vulnerable.
People can travel across WA, except for entry into remote Aboriginal communities, and camp within national parks, reserves, and State forests.
All international and inter-state arrivals to WA need to pay for their 14 days of hotel quarantine from 17 July 2020.
Family members may visit people in aged care, providing they have not returned from overseas in the last 14 days, been in contact with a confirmed Covid19 case in the last 14 days, don't have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory disease, and have had an up to date influenza vaccination.
Everyone should observe the 1.5 metre physical distancing rule.
Contactless payment is encouraged rather than cash.

The rapidly changing Covid19 situation within Australian states and territories, and the great geographical distances that exist between many of them, can add to people's uncertainty around the guidelines and restrictions that are in place across the country. This article, and the links within it, has aimed to provide a one-stop solution to finding information for all of Australia's updated Covid19 information by state and territory.
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Why? Contrary to human nature, staying apart helps to keep us together during a pandemic
When: August 2020
Where: Australia wide
Your Comment
Meg, informative article. Good to see it all outlined here so we understand each state’s restrictions
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2114) 319 days ago
A lot of hire cars in SA have Victorian number plates on them. Hire cars don't have signwriting on them at all. It will be interesting if the Police start stopping them to check drivers' licenses.
by r.eng (score: 2|523) 320 days ago
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