Coronavirus COVID-19 Advice and Resources.

Update on COVID-19 announcements: NSW


Latest Update - 29 March 2021 - Special COVID-19 Conditions and Support Measures


Updated: 29 March 2021


The current level of restrictions for all NSW are:

  • Outdoor public gatherings allowed up to 200 people.
  • No restriction on visitors allowed in each household at one time.
  • The number of people allowed at hospitality venues is one person per 2 square metres.

Certain businesses must have and display a COVID-19 Safety plan. All other businesses are encouraged to have one.

There is no requirement to allow employees to work from home.

Face Masks

In Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) face masks must be worn on public/shared transport and waiting areas for public/shared transport.

Face masks must be worn indoors at all NSW airports and on domestic commercial flights into or out of NSW, including when the flight is landing at or taking off from the airport.

Official detail here

Travel from Interstate

There are no restrictions on travel into NSW from any state or territory except Queensland. Rules apply to people who have been in Brisbane or Moreton Bay council areas since 11 March.

Travel from NZ

You do not need to enter mandatory quarantine when you fly from New Zealand into NSW, unless you, crew or fellow passengers on your flight have been in countries other than Australia or NZ in the past 14 days.

Travel from Overseas (other than NZ)

The NSW Government will charge international travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation.


Pandemic Leave Support for employees

NSW employees may be entitled to the Commonwealth Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment of up to $1500 per fortnight if they do not have leave entitlements but cannot work after 17 September due to being told to self-isolate or quarantine by NSW Health because:

  • they have COVID-19 or were in close contact with a COVID-19 case; or
  • they have to care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19 or was in close contact with a COVID-19 case; or
  • they are caring for someone who has COVID-19.

Further details here.

Business Financial Support

The NSW government has generally concentrated its COVID financial support measures on smaller business, leaving the broader corporate support to the Commonwealth and its JobKeeper scheme in particular.

The NSW support measures include:

  • Reduction in Payroll Tax from 5.45% to 4.85% for two years from 1 July 2020
  • Payroll tax threshold increased to $1.2 mil from 1 July 2020

In addition, Revenue NSW will provide relief for land tax, fines and fees. Details here

JobKeeper and NSW Payroll Tax and Workers' Comp Premiums

NSW has determined that JobKeeper payments will not be counted for Payroll Tax and workers compensation premium calculations if the employee is not working. Further, if the employee is working but JobKeeper is more than what the employee would normally earn for the hours being worked, the difference will not count for Payroll Tax or workers' compensation premiums.

JobKeeper payments are included in an employee's weekly benefits whilst on compensation.

Official details for JobKeeper effect in NSW on Payroll Tax and workers compensation premiums.

NSW premium tariffs will not be changed for the 2020-21 renewal year. Employers may be able to seek premium relief from icare if their circumstances have changed. Details here

Workers' Compensation Presumed COVID-19 Liability

The NSW Parliament has enacted special workers compensation provisions to support workers who have continued to be employed through the pandemic in a arrange of public facing or congested workplaces.

If any employee working in a range of nominated industries contracts Covid-19, they will be assumed to have caught it in the course of employment for the purposes of workers compensation unless the contrary can be proven. Workers include casuals who have worked at least 1 day in the previous 21. They will also be assumed to be incapacitated for work (unless the contrary can be shown, say by working from home) until 7 days after medical clearance. The nominated industries include (but are not limited to) retail, construction, disability and aged care, passenger transport and cleaning.

Regulations may be made to insulate an employer from the direct effect of such claims on their premiums.

Workers in any other sector will have to show work relatedness of the illness, as normal.

NSW Long Service Leave Flexibility and Accrual

Until 12 May 2021, an employer and employee entitled to long service leave under the NSW LSL Act can agree on leave being taken in more than one period of at least one day each.

Until 12 March 2021, an employee stood down directly or indirectly because of the pandemic continues to accrue LSL while stood down.

Ai Group has a range of resources to assist with pandemic response on our online COVID-19 resource centre.

Mark Goodsell
Head NSW Branch
Ai Group