Hunter lockdown restrictions and cases explained

Filed in Just In by August 5, 2021

AT 5pm tonight, eight Hunter Local Government Areas (LGAs) will enter into a seven-day snap lock down and residents will be subject to stay at home orders until 12.01am Friday, August 13, inline with Greater Sydney restrictions.

The stay at home orders apply to people who live in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Cessnock and Dungog LGAs or anyone who has visited the LGAs since Saturday, July 31. (Read more: Stay at home orders – impacting some Scone residents).

Stay at home orders mean those living the the eight LGAs or who visited them since last Saturday, will only be able to leave home for the following essential reasons:

  1. Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  2. Medical care or compassionate needs (including to get a Covid-19 vaccine);
  3. Exercise outdoors;
  4. Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

See breakdown of essential reasons below.

Visitors will not be allowed during the lock down and this applies to all social visits from those outside your household, including family and friends.

Nominated person: People can nominate one visitor to fulfill carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship, but do not live together. This nominated person has to be the same person, you can not have a different person visit on each occasion. 

Cases of Covid-19:

There are no confirmed cases in the Muswellbrook or Singleton LGA’s and the approach to lock down is precautionary due to the growing cases in the Newcastle area.

Cases were detected in the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) including two females in their 20s, one male in their 20s and two school children aged 8 and 11.

A man in his 30s from the Central Coast is also linked to the cluster.

Dr David Durrheim, Public Health Controller, HNELHD Covid-19 response said the source of the infection appears to be a gathering at Blacksmith beach on Friday night.

“Two of the confirmed cases are students at Maitland Christian School and we’re working with health and education to make sure the school poses no risk to students, teachers or families,” Dr Durrheim said.

“Morisset High School has been closed today for cleaning and for contact tracing. We’re working closely with the Central Coast Public Health Unit to identify all close contacts after a case linked to the Central Coast cluster attended the school this week,” he said.


Anyone who attended the following venues on the specified dates are urged to get tested and isolate until a negative test result is received.

  • Auchmuty Library at University of Newcastle on 30 July 2021 from 5pm to 11pm
  • Target at Glendale shopping village on 1 August 2021 from 8.50am to 1.00pmMore exposure sites will be announced as investigations continue.

Public and private testing clinics are now open with extended hours. For a full list of clinics and addresses click here.

At this stage, the lock down and stay at home orders will be in place until 12.01am Friday, August 13.

Rules for when you leave your home

Car travel:

You may only travel in a car with other people that you live with, unless it is for 

  • an emergency;
  • a compassionate reason;
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, or
  • the car is being used as a taxi or rideshare.

You are allowed to share the car with a person you do not live with (carpool) if you are:

  • required to use a vehicle for your work (for example, if you are a police officer working in a team of 2 people);
  • travelling with your nominated visitor (“singles bubble”) to exercise outdoors.

To go to work:

Businesses that do not require employees to work from home, if they are reasonably able to, face a fine of up to:

  • $10,000 for corporations and
  • $2,000 for individuals.

If you cannot work from home and you go to your workplace that is allowed to be open, you must wear a face mask (unless an exemption applies).

If you go to your workplace, follow the rules for wearing a face mask.

Community sport:

You can take part in exercising or outdoor recreational activities that:

No community sport (training or matches) is allowed.

You can drive to outdoor exercise and recreation in the eight LGAs provided that you:

  • stay within your local government area or within 10km from your home if you live outside a local government area of concern;
  • stay within 5km from your home if you live in a local government area of concern, and
  • only travel with other people from your household if travelling in a private vehicle (car).

You cannot travel in a private vehicle (car) with people you do not live with.

Exercise and outdoor recreation:

  • Stay within your local government area or within 10km of your home;
  • If travelling by a private vehicle, do not share a car with people you do not live with, except your nominated visitor (“singles bubble”);
  • You can exercise with one other person that you do not live with, or your nominated visitor (“singles bubble”);
  • If you live with more than two other people, you can all go out together for exercise.


  • Stay within your local government area or within 10km of your home (unless the food or goods and services are not reasonably available locally);
  • If travelling by a private vehicle, do not share a car with other people you do not live with;
  • Only one person per household may leave their home each day to shop for food or other goods and services;
  • You may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own;
  • Go directly to and from the shops to get what you need. Do not spend time looking at other things;
  • Shopping is allowed for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets);
  • You can shop for vulnerable people.

Proof of address

You must carry proof of your address if you:

  • have left your home for a reasonable excuse;
  • are exercising outdoors or have left your home for recreation, or
  • have a reasonable excuse and are leaving an area with stay at home orders.

You must show your proof of address if asked by the New South Wales Police.

Other reasonable excuses to leave home

It is also considered a reasonable excuse to leave your home if you need to:

  • donate blood;
  • access childcare;
  • continue existing arrangements for access to and contact between, parents and children;
  • attend a funeral or memorial service that complies with the rules for funerals and memorial services;
  • provide care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or to provide emergency assistance, however only one person may visit a residence to provide care at any one time;
  • access social services, employment services, services provided to victims (including as victims of crime), domestic violence services, and mental health services;
  • move to a new place of residence, or between your different places of residence;
  • undertake legal obligations;
  • avoid injury or illness or to escape the risk of harm;
  • in case of emergencies;
  • for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not necessarily live together;
  • to provide pastoral care if you are a priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order, or
  • gathering at Parliament for the purpose of its normal operations.

Taking a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

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