Everything you need to know about Covid restrictions over the Christmas period 

Christmas was thrown into chaos for many Australian families this year after a cluster of coronavirus cases began to emerge. 

Borders were slammed shut as the number of community transmitted cases in Sydney’s Northern Beaches grew last week, forcing many residents to put their holiday plans on hold. 

The state now has 97 cases, most of which have been linked to the Avalon cluster.

But with the festive season just around the corner, some of the rules have been tweaked to allow for a merrier Christmas period than first predicted. 

Here, Daily Mail Australia has compiled a list answering all your Covid-related questions. 

How many people can I have over for Christmas?

Greater Sydney residents will be allowed to mix in a home with 10 adults plus children under 12 on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day

Greater Sydney residents will be allowed to mix in a home with 10 adults plus children under 12 on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day

The threat of full-scale lockdown ruining Christmas had hung heavy over five million Sydneysiders but Premier Berejiklian allayed those fears on Wednesday as the state recorded just eight new local cases of Covid-19

The threat of full-scale lockdown ruining Christmas had hung heavy over five million Sydneysiders but Premier Berejiklian allayed those fears on Wednesday as the state recorded just eight new local cases of Covid-19

How has the virus  escalated in Sydney? 

17 December: Three cases

18 December: 15 cases

19 December: 23 cases

20 December: 30 cases

21 December: 15 cases

22 December: Eight cases

23 December: Eight cases 

Total: 102 cases with 97 linked to Avalon cluster 

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New South Wales:

Greater Sydney region, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean Blue Mountains:

There is still a 10 person cap for the number of visitors allowed in a home, however, for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day children under 12 won’t be included in the limit. 

Northern Beaches peninsula zone (North of Narrabeen Bridge, and east of the Baha’i Temple):

You are allowed to have up to five visitors but they must live in the peninsula zone. 

People may not enter or leave this zone.

Northern Beaches southern zone: 

Up to 10 visitors (plus primary school children and younger) are allowed in homes. 

This may include people from outside this zone, not including the Northern Beaches peninsula zone. 

The government will decide on Boxing Day if residents south of the Narrabeen Bridge will go back into lockdown on 27 December. 

Victoria: 

You are allowed to have up to 30 people at home on Christmas Day, babies under 12 months won’t count towards that number. 

The chaos began when new cases emerged in Sydney's Northern Beaches last week (Pictured: Residents are tested for Covid)

The chaos began when new cases emerged in Sydney’s Northern Beaches last week (Pictured: Residents are tested for Covid)

The Northern Beaches is being split into two sections at the Narrabeen Bridge, with those in the northern section where the cluster is centred suffering harsher Christmas restrictions than those in the south

The Northern Beaches is being split into two sections at the Narrabeen Bridge, with those in the northern section where the cluster is centred suffering harsher Christmas restrictions than those in the south

Queensland:

Queenslanders are able to host up to 50 people in their homes for the Christmas period. 

South Australia:

Ten people can gather at a private home while 50 can be at a private venue other than a residence.

Western Australia:

The state has a one person per two square metre rule for gatherings. 

Tasmania:

You can host 40 visitors in your home during the Christmas period. 

What are the rules around outdoor gatherings? 

New South Wales: 

Gatherings of up to 100 are still allowed outside in a public place such as at a beach or a park. However, this excludes those in the Northern Beaches. 

Victoria:

Up to 50 people can gather in an outdoor space. 

Gatherings of up to 100 are still allowed outside in a public place such as at a beach or a park. However, this excludes those in the Northern Beaches which is still in lockdown

Gatherings of up to 100 are still allowed outside in a public place such as at a beach or a park. However, this excludes those in the Northern Beaches which is still in lockdown

Queensland:

Up to 50 people can gather in an outdoor space. 

South Australia: 

The state has a one person per two square metre rule for gatherings in public spaces. 

Tasmania:

The state has a one person per two square metre rule for gatherings in public spaces. 

Can I travel interstate for the holiday period: 

Queensland:

Travellers from the Central Coast of New South Wales or the Greater Sydney area will need a permit to enter the Sunshine State. 

Visitors will also need to get swab tested on arrival and must stay in isolation until the all-clear is given.

Borders were slammed shut as the number of community transmitted cases in Sydney's Northern Beaches began to grow, Victoria and Queensland introduced a 'traffic light' permit scheme

Borders were slammed shut as the number of community transmitted cases in Sydney’s Northern Beaches began to grow, Victoria and Queensland introduced a ‘traffic light’ permit scheme

Those still hoping to cross the border can apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass on the Queensland government’s website.

Victoria: 

Victoria has introduced a ‘traffic light’ permit scheme that is similar to Queensland.

Health Minister Martin Foley said those travelling from Greater Sydney – an orange zone – must have a COVID-19 Border Entry Permit​.

Travellers coining from the Northern Beaches ‘red zone’ will have to undergo mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. 

Visitors from regional New South Wales – the green zone – are permitted to enter Victoria with no restrictions.

Travellers can apply for a permit on the Victorian government’s website.

The Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania require all travellers from the Northern Beaches or other NSW hotspots to undergo mandatory quarantine

The Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania require all travellers from the Northern Beaches or other NSW hotspots to undergo mandatory quarantine

South Australia: 

South Australia confirmed on Saturday its border will remain open to travellers from NSW despite the rise in cases.

But those coming from the Northern Beaches hotspot will have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine and are urged to rethink their plans.

The state has warned it won’t hesitate to act if Sydney’s Covid-19 cluster continues to expand.

Western Australia: 

In Western Australia the state government announced on Friday night the ‘difficult decision’ to introduce a hard border with New South Wales once again. 

From midnight on Sunday, December 20 – the hard border with New South Wales was reinstated. 

Anyone wanting to enter the state from New South Wales will require an exemption to gain entry.

Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania:

The Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania require all travellers from the Northern Beaches or other NSW hotspots to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Tasmania have gone one step further announcing that anyone coming from the Greater Sydney area will now also have to go into hotel quarantine for 14-days.

In the Northern Territory and the ACT, no changes have been made for visitors coming from the Greater Sydney area and travellers remain free cross the border.

What’s happening with New Year’s Eve? 

New South Wales:

Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to comment of what restrictions would be like beyond December 27. 

She said decisions on New Year’s Eve and upcoming sporting events will be made after the Christmas period. 

Residents are preparing for a scaled down event due to the latest covid outbreak. 

The fireworks display has already been cut down to a seven-minute event at midnight on the Harbour Bridge, and the children’s 9pm fireworks has been  cancelled. 

This years NYE fireworks display will be cut short to a seven minute event at midnight

This years NYE fireworks display will be cut short to a seven minute event at midnight 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to comment of what restrictions would be like beyond December 27

Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to comment of what restrictions would be like beyond December 27

NSW Government has developed a Covid Safe plan for limited numbers of residents to view the fireworks via a permit system. 

Residents will only be able to gain access to cordoned-off ‘green zones’ around Circular Quay and North Sydney by either applying for a permit on the Service NSW website or having a booking for a restaurant or event inside the zoned areas.

The ‘yellow zones’ are created around the green zone and are not restricted to residents or visitors, but people gathering in these areas in large numbers may be moved on by police.

On Sunday 20 December Victoria decided to shut its border with New South Wales after Sydney recorded just 30 Covid-19 cases, with all linked to one cluster. By contrast, New South Wales did not decide to close its border to Victoria until the state recorded 127 new local cases on 6 July, with many of them mystery cases. As only eight new cases were reported on Tuesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said other leaders had lost their nerve, sacrificed their economies and ruined Christmas for millions by shutting the borders so early. She also said it showed they did not trust their tracing systems

On Sunday 20 December Victoria decided to shut its border with New South Wales after Sydney recorded just 30 Covid-19 cases, with all linked to one cluster. By contrast, New South Wales did not decide to close its border to Victoria until the state recorded 127 new local cases on 6 July, with many of them mystery cases. As only eight new cases were reported on Tuesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said other leaders had lost their nerve, sacrificed their economies and ruined Christmas for millions by shutting the borders so early. She also said it showed they did not trust their tracing systems

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