NSW extends COVID-19 restrictions — how will this affect int’l students in Australia?

new NSW restrictions
From mask mandates to singing and dancing in nightclubs, here’s what you can and can’t do in New South Wales following new NSW restrictions. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

The New South Wales government announced new NSW restrictions amid soaring COVID-19 cases. 

In a media release, the state government said current restrictions would be extended for another month to take a measured response to manage the virus. The state recorded 18,512 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths on Tuesday.

If you’re an international student in the state, here’s what you should know about what you can and can’t do in NSW:

New NSW restrictions: What to know

NSW’s new restrictions include extending COVID-19 restrictions from Jan. 27, 2022 until Feb. 28, 2022. The state government notes the following:

  • Hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes, and nightclubs must follow the one person per two square metre rule indoors
  • Masks are required in all indoor settings (except residences). Masks are strongly encouraged where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others
  • QR code check-ins are compulsory at certain premises, including hospitality venues and retail shops
  • Singing and dancing are not permitted in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities, nightclubs, indoor music festivals and major indoor recreation facilities (except for weddings, performers, instructors and students)
new NSW restrictions

The new NSW restrictions include a mask requirement in all indoor settings, except residences. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said rolling over these measures would continue to protect the community and their health system. “We have always said we will respond to what is in front of us and tailor our approach as required and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

“We are transitioning to living with COVID and we will need to continually update our approach to ensure we are keeping people safe and protecting our health system.”

International students in New South Wales might also want to reduce time spent eating out. The state government notes: “Individuals are also encouraged to continue to work from home where possible and to reduce mingling when eating and drinking.”

Australia has been stepping up efforts to woo international students back into the country. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced that international students in Australia will be able to work more hours per week due to labour shortages fuelled by rising Omicron cases. 

He also announced that international students who arrive in Australia will have their visas rebated at the cost of 630 Australian dollars per student over the next few weeks.