Australian states and territories have different levels of restrictions to contain Covid-19.
Here we answer some common questions about restrictions in each state, based on the information available as of 4 February.
This article should not be treated as legal advice. It will be updated as restrictions are announced, implemented or repealed.
Here are the official state and territory restriction guides for New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
In response to an Australian Open quarantine hotel worker testing positive to coronavirus, several restrictions have been reimposed as of 4 February.
Masks are mandatory again in indoor settings, other than your own home, and indoor gatherings are limited to 15. It’s unclear how long the stricter rules will be in place.
Western Australia lockdown
Western Australia has ended its five-day lockdown in metropolitan Perth, the Peel region and the state’s south-west covering about 80% of the state’s population.
Despite the end of the lockdown, restrictions remain Perth and Peel until 12.01am Sunday 14 February.
Travel in and out of Perth and Peel regions is only allowed where it is deemed “essential travel”.
Restrictions still apply to regions outside Perth and Peel, but they are less severe.
You can find more details about the WA lockdown rules here.
How many people can I have over at my house?
New South Wales: residences in greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong are allowed a maximum of 30 guests including children. In the rest of the state, people are allowed a maximum of 50 visitors in their homes at a time. However NSW Health strongly recommends having no more than 30 visitors at a time if the residence has no outdoor area. If there are more than 50 visitors at a home, every person can be held individually responsible for a breach of the public health order.
Victoria: private gatherings are limited to 15 people.
Queensland: up to 50 people can gather at a private property, including those who live there.
Tasmania: a maximum of 100 people are allowed to gather at residential premises (including shacks) whether inside or outside.
Western Australia: Indoor and outdoor private gatherings limited to 20 people and a 4 sq metre rule applies at venues.
South Australia: gatherings in private homes are limited to 50 people. All gatherings must observe the density requirements of one person per 2 sq metres.
Northern Territory: there is no limit on how many people can gather indoors or outdoors, but physical distancing is required. Gatherings of more than 100 require the completion of a Covid-19 checklist.
ACT: there is no limit on visitors as long as social distancing rules can be followed.
When do I need to wear a mask?
States and territories have agreed that anyone catching domestic or international flights must wear a mask on the plane and in the airport. Some states have additional mask-wearing requirements to control outbreaks.
New South Wales: in the greater Sydney area, masks are recommended but no longer compulsory at retail shopping venues. Masks must still be worn on public transport, for front-of-house hospitality staff, in places of worship, hairdressers, beauticians and gaming rooms.
Victoria: masks are mandatory in indoor settings, other than your own home. If you have visitors in your home, health officials strongly recommend that masks are worn during the visit.
Queensland: masks are no longer mandatory in greater Brisbane, but people are encouraged to wear masks on public transport, in taxis or ride share vehicles, and in places where social distancing isn’t possible.
Western Australia: Masks are mandatory when outside of your place of residence, including at all workplaces, public transport, and while exercising, unless exercising vigorously outside.
How many people can gather outside?
New South Wales: public gatherings in greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong of up to 50 people are allowed. In regional NSW, public gatherings of 100 people are allowed. This limit does not apply if the group of people are all from the same household or if it is a controlled outdoor event.
Victoria: up to 100 people from any number of households can gather outside. 1.5 metres should be maintained between yourself and others not from your household.
Queensland: 50 people can gather at a private property and a maximum of 100 people can gather in public outdoor spaces. This number includes people from the same household. This does not apply to businesses operating with a Covid-safe plan.
Tasmania: up to 250 people are allowed in an undivided indoor space and up to 1,000 in an outdoor space, as long as there is at least 2 sq metres of space per person.
Western Australia: Indoor and outdoor private gatherings limited to 20 people.
South Australia: gatherings at public places are capped at 50, with density requirements of one person every 4 sq metres.
Northern Territory: there are no limits but you should maintain physical distancing. Gatherings of more than 100 will require completion of a Covid-19 checklist.
ACT: up to 500 people can gather together outdoors as long as 2 sq metres of space per person is maintained. If people wish to hold gatherings of greater than 500 people, they must seek an exemption in accordance with the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
Can I visit someone in an aged care facility?
Visitors cannot enter an aged care facility in any state if they have recently been overseas, been in recent contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, or feel unwell.
New South Wales: visitors are allowed at aged care facilities in NSW. Under NSW Health guidelines, visitors should wear masks.
Victoria: there are no restrictions on visits to care facilities in Victoria. People of any age can visit residents for as long as desired, as long as the rules set by the facility are followed. Face masks must still be worn.
Queensland: residents can have as many visitors as the facility allows. They should also follow Queensland government guidelines for protecting aged care residents. This also applies to aged care facilities in greater Brisbane, since a ban on visitors was lifted on 22 January.
Tasmania: residents can have up to two visitors at one time. There is no limit on the number of visits in a day or the length of each visit. Residents are allowed to go outside on trips, and hairdressers can be allowed in. Additional visitors are allowed for end of life support, or if needed to reduce distress and confusion given a resident’s medical condition.
Western Australia: visits to aged care and disability care facilities are restricted to compassionate grounds in the Perth and Peel areas. Elsewhere, visits are permitted unless the visitor has returned from overseas within the past 14 days, has been informed they are a close contact, has symptoms, or is not up-to-date with their flu vaccination.
South Australia: people from NSW, greater Brisbane, and people who have been in Covid hotspots are not permitted to visit SA aged care facilities. Aside from that, up to two people can visit at the same time for care and support. There is no limit to the length of each visit. Workers must wear a mask where physical distancing isn’t possible, and they can work at only one site.
Northern Territory: residents can have up to two visitors at a time. There is no limit on the number of visits in a day or the length of each visit.
ACT: residents can be visited by up to two people at a time. There is no limit on the number of visits in a day or the length of each visit.
Can I eat at a restaurant, cafe or pub?
New South Wales: yes, as long as venues observe the 4 sq metre per person rule up to a cap of 300 for each separate area at any time. All diners must provide name and contact details, including a phone number or email address, for contact tracing. Food courts have reopened. Nightclubs remain closed.
Victoria: there are specific directions for differently sized indoor venues. Venues are capped subject to a density rule of one person per 2 sq metres, with no other cap. There are no longer any group booking limitations.
Queensland: restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered clubs, RSL clubs and hotels with a Covid-safe checklist can seat any number of patrons as long as the 2 sq metre per person limit is observed. Diners allowed to stand while eating and drinking, if the venue has a Covid-safe plan in place
Tasmania: up to 250 are allowed in an undivided space as long as there is no more than one person every 2 sq metres. Up to 1,000 people are allowed in an undivided outdoor space, density requirements permitting.
Western Australia: A 4 sq metre rule applies at venues and they can have up to a maximum of 150 patrons (excluding staff).
South Australia: restaurants, cafes, pubs, food courts, nightclubs and casinos have density requirements of one person per 2 sq metres.
Northern Territory: all businesses can reopen as long as they have a Covid plan.
ACT: restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues offering seated dining can host up to one person per 4 sq metres. Venues can register to host one person per 2 sq metres.
How far can I travel within my state?
The only restrictions on travel within states are in Western Australia and South Australia where there are restrictions on visiting some remote Aboriginal communities.
In Western Australia, only essential travel is permitted in and out of the Perth and Peel regions to other parts of WA. Travellers are encouraged to have a G2G Pass. People are permitted to enter the Perth/Peel region or any other region from interstate in line with the Controlled Interstate Border arrangements.
Can I visit another state?
New South Wales: anyone can enter NSW. Arrivals from a WA affected area on or after 25 January are advised to get tested and stay at your place of residence or in suitable accommodation unless you have…