COVID-19: Understanding the Restrictions on Gathering and Movement

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Muslim Women Australia has worked for almost 40 years to support vulnerable members in the community in accessing support services in times of need. MWA takes a holistic, whole of community approach to service provision and capacity building. The physical, financial, social, emotional and spiritual health of individuals is crucial to a healthy society. 

To make it easy to digest the informational overload that COVID-19 has produced, MWA has produced a variety of documents, images, and information series that break down the complexity and share key information with the community. This information is available on our website, social media, and is also being communicated directly to clients. 

This document aims to explain the most recent updates to physical distancing and social gathering in response to the threat of COVID-19 in Australia.

Please be aware that new announcements are constantly being made and we encourage you to check the most recent Government updates in order to verify the information.

IMPORTANT: STAY HOME unless you are going for the following:

  • Shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
  • Work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely. 
  • Playgrounds, skate parks etc. are now closed

The Prime Minister announced this week tightening of restrictions to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, limiting it to a maximum of two people. The order commences on the 31st March 2020, this section of the law expires at the end of the 90 days after it was made, end of 29th June 2020.  

In NSW, those who leave their home without a reasonable excuse after new restrictions will be fined $11,000 and will be imprisoned for 6 months. Plus an extra $5,000 fine each day the offence continues. Individuals who fail to comply with directions will be fined with $55,000 and $27,500 each day the offence continues. 

Do they apply inside private homes or just in public places? 

The restrictions apply to public places and inside private homes, they do not apply to members of your household. Family units (in the same household) can still be together inside and outside the home.

But no matter how many people are in your home, you are allowed a maximum of one additional person over as a guest at a time. All states are now putting in place a ‘stay at home laws’, the guest would have to be visiting for an essential reason. Also limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only.

Exceptions to this limit include:

  • People of the same household going out together
  • Funerals – a limit of 10 people
  • Wedding – a limit of 5 people
  • Family units

What if a family member is split across two households?

Federal government has recommended that these laws do not apply to families that are split across households. An example, if a mother and child live separately to a father and another child, they would still be allowed to visit each other, despite being over the two-person limit. But it is important to note this applies only to immediate family members-that is, children and their guardians. 

Social Distancing 

Is a way to slow the spread of the viruses, the more space between you and others the harder it is for the virus to spread. It includes avoiding touching objects or surfaces, such as door handles, tables, chairs, etc. 

Who is obligated to self-isolate? 

  • All people who arrive in Australia after Midnight 15th March 2020, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, are required to self-isolate for 14 days. 
  • All Travellers arriving in Australia from Midnight 28th March 2020, will be required to undertake their 14 day isolation in a hotel. Provided by the government, who will escort those to a room. 
  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay home, do not go out in public places, work, school, shopping centres, childcare and university. Ask a family member to get food and other essentials required for you and leave them at the front door.

Are there different rules for those over-70?

Government has strongly recommended that anyone over the age of 70 should go into self-isolation. That means no interacting in person with anyone outside their home and leaving the house only if absolutely necessary. 

Can I visit family and friends in aged care facilities? 

In order to protect older people in aged care, restrictions apply. Do not visit aged care facilities if you have:

  • Returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • Been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).

From 1st of May you must have had your influenza vaccination in order to visit any aged care facility.

For more information visit:

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