Normality cancelled

Gerd Altmann – Pixabay

You need more than 24 hours a day to keep up with all the COVID-19 updates at the moment. Here’s another one. Hopefully it won’t be superceded by the time you get to the bottom!


With over 800 cases now in NSW, the infection curve is still heading in the wrong direction.

As a result, and on the advice of public health experts, all the following activities and businesses have been shut down across the state by government:

  • pubs and registered clubs
  • gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
  • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • religious gatherings, places of worship (excluding small weddings and funerals that comply with the 4 square metres rule, which can proceed)

Still open

Essential gatherings at places including hospitals, workplaces, construction sites and in public transport situations are exempt and will continue (for now), but no more than 100 people are able to gather indoors.

Medical surgeries, supermarkets, chemists, petrol stations, freight organisations, food delivery and bottle shops have been described by the government as ‘essential to society’ and will remain open.

There are a number of health-related businesses operating in grey areas, for which definite closures are not yet in place, but where social distancing rules may not be practicable to maintain.

These include dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, mental health practitioners and alternative health services.

Non-medical personal businesses, such as hairdressers and beauticians, are currently allowed to stay open if they comply with social distancing guidelines, which may be impossible in some cases.

Clarification on these grey areas is expected from the government soon.


Parents are being encouraged by Premier Gladys Berejiklian to keep their children at home across the state from today, if possible.

If children cannot stay at home for whatever reason, they can continue to go to school (except in cases where schools have been closed due to COVID-19 cases).

Nursing homes

Some operators have closed completely to visitors, and those that remain open have strict rules to keep residents safe, including maximum one hour visits, one visitor at a time, and visitors to stay out of common areas. People who have recently arrived from overseas or with symptoms of illness will not be admitted.

Whatever your situation, stay in regular contact with your loved ones and keep them informed about what’s happening.

Check it

Try not to share memes and other panicky stories without checking the facts first, and please spare a thought for all the medical professionals (and supermarket workers) who continue to risk their own safety, and those of their families, in order to keep you and your family safe.

If you’re feeling off-colour, use the free symptom-checker at HealthDirect to find out more. Key early symptoms to look out for with COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough.

With standard flu, which is also doing the rounds, symptoms usually include muscle pains and headache (both are uncommon with COVID-19).

Keep washing those hands!


David Lowe