Carroll & O'Dea Facebook It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: the latest Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) - December 2020 - Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

When it matters,
you need trusted individual advice.

Contact Us

Publications

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: the latest Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) - December 2020

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: the latest Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) – December 2020

Published on December 11, 2020 by Dexter CabalDexter Cabal

This is an update to the Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers series of articles by Dexter Cabal on COVID-19 gathering and movement restrictions in NSW.

Celebrating the Festive Season with More of our Loved Ones

With Christmas around the corner, the way we all celebrate the festive season will no doubt be different due to the impacts of the global pandemic of COVID-19 that we have all been managing for much of this past year. The NSW Government has recently announced and implemented a further easing of restrictions on gathering and movement to allow residents of NSW celebrate the festive season with more family and friends.  The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 6) 2020 (NSW) commenced on 1 December 2020, notably amending the:

(a)   the maximum number of persons allowed on residential premises;

(b)   the maximum number of persons allowed at hospitality venues; and

(c)   the maximum number of persons allowed at outdoor public gatherings and at controlled outdoor public gatherings.

This week the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) (the ‘Order’) commenced on 7 December 2020, providing further measures for the easing of restrictions on gathering and movement in NSW.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) (‘the Order’)

Here are a few key provisions of the current Order which commenced this week on 7 December 2020:

Residential Premises

Households are now allowed 50 visitors to be at the place of residence of the household at any one time (Clause 15(1)) – though NSW Health recommends a maximum of 30 visitors if the place of residence does not have any outdoor space.  Also, visitors must not participate in a gathering at a residence consisting of more than 50 visitors (Clause 15(2)) – exemptions being for a wedding, funeral or memorial service and for the viewing or inspection of real property for sale or lease or an auction.  This increase in the permissible number of visitors to a household’s place of residence will be comforting to families and extended families that have been previously separated as a result of restrictions on movement and gathering during these trying times. 

Non-Residential Premises

An occupier of premises must not allow more than 25 persons on the premises if the size of the premises is insufficient to ensure there is at least 2 square metres of space for each person on the premises (Clause 9(1)).  Accordingly, the rule has been simplified to occupiers of premises needing to ensure that each person on the premises has at least 2 square metres of space; there are exceptions to the rule (Clause 9(2)).  Notable exceptions to the rule include: gymnasiums, whose occupier must not allow persons on the premises if the size of the premises is insufficient to ensure there is at least 4 square metres for each person on the premises (Clause 10(1)).  Further, an occupier of a gymnasium must ensure the maximum number of persons attending any individual class or activity carried out at the gymnasium does not exceed 50 persons (Clause 10(3)).  A further exception to the rule applies to nightclubs, whose occupier must not allow persons on the premises if the size of the premises is insufficient to ensure there is at least 4 square metres of space for each person on the premises (Clause 12(2)).  Also, the maximum number of persons in an indoor area of the premises that is used as a dance floor cannot exceed 50 persons.

A COVID-19 Safety Plan will still be required (Clause 7) for a majority of venues (as noted in Column 2 of Schedule 1) including: food and drink premises, entertainment facilities, nail and beauty salons, function centres and community sporting events to name but a few.  Occupiers of certain premises must also register with the NSW Government as a COVID-19 Safe business (Clause 8) including: hospitality venues, crematoria, funeral homes, gymnasiums, places of public worship and nightclubs. Also, an occupier of a hospitality venue must ensure there is a COVID-19 Safety Hygiene Marshal on the premises if there are more than 250 persons on the premises (Clause 12).

Significant Events

The responsible person for a significant event must have and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan (Clause 16(1)).

Community Sporting Activities

The organiser of a community sporting activity must ensure the maximum number of participants in the community sporting activity is the lesser of: 3000 participants or, the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of the premises in which the activity is conducted (Clause 19).

Outdoor Public Gatherings

Persons must not participate in an outdoor public gathering of more than 100 persons (Clause 29). 

Controlled Outdoor Public Gatherings

An organiser of a controlled outdoor public gathering must have and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan and have that Safety Plan available for inspection by an authorised officer or a police officer (Clause 30(2)).

The organiser of a controlled outdoor public gathering must require that all persons participating in the gathering, other than those working, are assigned to specific seats or seating area (Clause 30(3)).

An organiser of a controlled outdoor gathering must ensure that the maximum number of persons participating in the gathering is the lesser of:

(a) For a gathering of which persons participating in the gathering are assigned specific seats: 5000 persons or the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of the premises in which the activity is conducted;

(b) For a gathering of which persons participating in the gathering are assigned to a seating area (no specific seats): 3000 persons or the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of the premises in which the activity is conducted (Clause 30(4)).

The controlled outdoor public gathering also cannot be for more than 5 hours in duration (Clause 30(5)).

Work

The directive that an employer must allow their employees to work at their employees’ place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so remains in the current version of the Order, but will be repealed at the beginning of 14 December 2020 (Clause 6).

Records and Exchange of Information

A person who enters premises specified in Schedule 3 of the Order must continue to provide the person’s contact details to the occupier of the premises (Clause 36(1)) by electronically registering the person’s contact details with Service NSW or the occupier of the premises by means of a mobile phone or other device at the time the person enters the premises (Clause 36(3)(b)).  Premises outlined in Schedule 3 include: hospitality venues (casinos, food and drink premises, pubs, small bars and registered clubs), function centres, recreation facilities, public swimming pools, entertainment facilities and nightclubs to name a few.  Equally the occupier of the premises must require a person to provide the person’s contact details (Clause 36(2)).

A person entering premises to attend a significant event at a place of public worship or entering premises for a religious service is to provide the person’s contact details directly to the occupier of the premises or electronically registering the person’s contact details with Service NSW  by means of a mobile phone or other device at the time the person enters the premises (Clause 36(3)(a)).

Stay Safe and Be Well during the Festive Season

The notable recent measures implemented in NSW to further ease restrictions on gathering and movement for the upcoming festive season is a major boon for our community in what has been a tough year.  The joy of reconnecting with family and friends will need to be approached with equal care as has been adopted in the past, with appropriate safeguards preserved including:

  • maintaining good personal hygiene;
  • adhering to the requirements to electronically register contact details with occupiers of premises for contact tracing purposes;
  • staying home if COVID-19 symptoms are experienced; and
  • not delaying in being tested for COVID-19.

Let’s make this season a jolly one by maintaining COVID-safe practices – truly, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

From the partners and staff at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers we wish you and your dearest, a safe and happy Christmas, with a new year 2021 that brings hope, peace and change.

Need help? Contact us now.

We're here to help. For general enquiries email or call 1800 059 278.
For Business lawyers call +61 (02) 9291 7100.

Contact Us