With one set of rules for Greater Sydney, a different set of rules for Sydney local government areas of concern and another for the rest of regional NSW, it's easy to get mixed up with the COVID stay at home rules.
That's why this series of articles will unpack and clear up aspects of the rules as they apply to the Mudgee region, starting with exercise and outdoor recreation.
What is classified as exercise and outdoor recreation?
Exercise and outdoor recreation is a reasonable excuse to leave home in the Mudgee region.
A NSW Health spokesperson explained the rules as follows:
"Exercise is an activity that requires some kind of physical activity that can help maintain or improve health, such as running or walking whereas recreation includes leisure activities such as sitting for relaxation, or to eat, drink or read outdoors."
This means you can sit down at a park bench for a coffee or sunbake at the beach as long as you are social distancing, wearing a mask and following gathering rules.
There are no time limits on exercise or outdoor recreation in the Mudgee region.
Where am I permitted to travel to for purposes of exercise or outdoor recreation?
Anywhere within the Mid-Western Local Government Area.
You can cross into another LGA for exercise or outdoor recreation but only if that allows you to stay within 5km of your home.
Who can I exercise and partake in outdoor recreation with?
Gathering outdoors for exercise or outdoor recreation is limited to two people but if you live with more than two other people, you can all go out together for exercise.
You can exercise with one other person you do not live with or your nominated 'singles bubble' visitor.
In the Mudgee region, people who live alone may nominate another person to visit their home - although that person must also reside in the Mid-Western LGA. Registration of your nominated person is not required in the Mudgee region.
There is a $3,000 on-the-spot fine for breaching the two-person outdoor exercise/recreation rule.
Facemasks and ID must be with you
When you leave home to exercise you must carry a face mask and identification with you at all times.
Mask wearing outside is mandatory across the state, except when exercising.
You must show your proof of address if asked by the NSW Police.
Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said walking was good enough exercise to justify leaving your mask off.
He strongly advised masks be put back on when social distancing could not be maintained, such as on a busy street or walking track.
Face masks must be worn at indoor or outdoor areas of a fresh food market, and outdoors next to or near food, drink and retail premises including;
- queuing outside a cafe or shop to collect take away food or drink
- walking on a street near shop fronts.
Those over 18 who do not wear or carry a facemask can be given a $500 on-the-spot fine, with $80 or $40 penalties in place for younger age groups.
Masks should not be worn by toddlers under 2 years of age and babies, as they are a choking and suffocation risk.
Children 12 years and under are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.
You are not permitted to share a car with someone outside of your household unless it is for an emergency, a compassionate reason, to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person or if the car is being used as a taxi or rideshare.
Carpooling to get to a place of recreation or exercise is not allowed unless you are sharing the car with people from your household or with your nominated 'singles bubble' visitor.
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