The NSW government has announced a planned easing of self-isolation restrictions.
The NSW government has announced a planned easing of self-isolation restrictions.

NSW police answer your top 10 COVID-19 questions

As the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak eases in NSW, some social restrictions will change from Friday May 1 while others remain in place.

A maximum of two adults from Friday can visit another household with their dependent children, while students will resume limited face-to-face schooling from May 11.

But in terms of public gatherings, exercising, driving, even recreational activities, confusion continues around what people can and can't do.

To help you navigate the weeks to come, we asked NSW Police to answer the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate the changes.

 

Some restrictions have changed, but people still need a reasonable excuse for being out or could face fines. Picture: Matrix
Some restrictions have changed, but people still need a reasonable excuse for being out or could face fines. Picture: Matrix

 

Q: Can I go to the beach? ‍

A: Check with your council if your local beach is open. If it's closed, don't go.

If you are there for essential exercise, abide by social distancing rules.

People can now swim or surf at Bondi and Bronte - and surf only at Tamarama - between 7am and 5pm on weekdays, with access to the water via designated entry and exit points.

All of Randwick City Council's beaches reopened on Tuesday without time restrictions.

Beaches in Dee Why, Freshwater and Manly, under the Northern Beaches Council remain closed.

Check with your local council before heading to the beach. Picture: Toby Zerna
Check with your local council before heading to the beach. Picture: Toby Zerna

 

Q: Can I go boating/fishing?

A: If you go out, social distancing rules always apply - at the boat ramp and on your boat.

You should only be on your boat alone, or with no more than one other person; or with family who ordinarily live in the same household as you.

A 'reasonable excuse' to use your boat include:

exercise (e.g. kayaking/sailing/paddling etc).

fishing.

get to and from work, where the work cannot reasonably be performed from home.

get groceries, and provide assistance, care or support to family member

Fishing is considered a reasonable excuse to be out although only two people can fish together unless they adults with dependent children. Picture: Peter Cronin
Fishing is considered a reasonable excuse to be out although only two people can fish together unless they adults with dependent children. Picture: Peter Cronin

Q: Can I drive to my local park/beach/trail for exercise?

A: Driving to your chosen exercise location is fine; however, you should stay close to home. Please continue to follow NSW Health advice in relation to public gatherings and social distancing. Perform your exercise/activity and return home promptly.

Exercise is allowed, but you are advised to stay close to home. Picture: AAP.
Exercise is allowed, but you are advised to stay close to home. Picture: AAP.

Q: Can I visit my family/friends?

A: As of Friday May 1, yes.

Public Health Orders regarding staying at home and not gathering in groups of more than two people in public will be slightly relaxed.

The premier loosened social distancing restrictions, announcing that two adults - and children - will now be allowed to visit other people.

Check with the people you are visiting as the key reasons are to provide care or relieve people's social isolation including the elderly, vulnerable people and people with mental health challenges.

The premier said when visiting, meeting in an outdoor environment such as home garden, backyard or veranda will help reduce the risk of potential infection transmissions, adding that the two-person limit still applies to public places.

Those over 70 should continue to stay at home whenever possible.

Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms should stay at home and arrange to be tested.

 

On Friday, lockdown rules will relaxed to allow groups of three to socialise.
On Friday, lockdown rules will relaxed to allow groups of three to socialise.

Q: Can I visit the cemetery?

A: Although no one would be forbidden from going to a cemetery, police ask people to keep visits to a minimum and keep in mind that seniors are at an increased risk of contracting the virus.

The following rules under the Public Health Act still apply:

Restrictions surrounding gatherings of two or more, if the exceptions are not met.

Restrictions surrounding the 'One person per four square metre rule'

Private cemetery operators individually determine how to restrict visitors on their premises.

Visiting the cemetery is allowed but people are advised to keep visits to a minimum. Picture: AAP.
Visiting the cemetery is allowed but people are advised to keep visits to a minimum. Picture: AAP.

Q: Can I take a learner driver for a lesson?

A: Under the Public Health Orders, a reasonable excuse for a person to leave their house to receive driving lessons (either from a driving instructor or a member of their family), given that this is a learning activity that cannot be done from home.

Learner drivers could also continue to drive with a supervising family member for any of the listed reasonable excuses for leaving the house - for example, driving to the supermarket

Teaching a learner to drive is considered acceptable.
Teaching a learner to drive is considered acceptable.

 

Q: Can I donate blood?

A: Yes, people can donate blood as it deemed essential.

 

Q: Can I travel within NSW?

A: Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys stated in a press conference on Tuesday that there is no set travel limit in terms of kilometres. As with all ministerial directions, police will use their discretion about what is deemed reasonable and have appealed for people to use "common sense".

 

There is no set travel limit in terms of kilometres in NSW but people are urged to use common sense. Picture: Christian Gilles
There is no set travel limit in terms of kilometres in NSW but people are urged to use common sense. Picture: Christian Gilles

 

Q: Can I have a picnic in a park with friends?

A: No. In regards to sitting in parks, there are a number of reasonable excuses for being away from home. These include shopping, medical and exercise.

Currently, sitting in groups in a park is not allowed.

Picnics are not yet allowed to return in NSW. Picture: Kidspot
Picnics are not yet allowed to return in NSW. Picture: Kidspot

 

Q: Can people host parties with children and without parents?

A: In short, no. Although premier Gladys Berejiklian will relax lockdown laws as of Friday May 1, allowing groups of three people (and their children) to gather, parties are currently not allowed.

Children’s birthday parties are not yet allowed in NSW.
Children’s birthday parties are not yet allowed in NSW.

 

 

Originally published as NSW police answer your top 10 COVID-19 questions



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