Previously we wrote to our readers about the implications of the Greater Sydney lockdown which was originally planned to last two weeks. Since 26 June 2021, the situation in New South Wales has made increasing developments with new harsh restrictions being employed across New Sout Wales. Of particular note, the Premier announced strict lockdown measures for specific suburbs within 8 Local Government Areas.

So, what has changed?


Originally meant to last until the beginning of July, lockdown restrictions have been extended to at least 28 August 2021 with a raft of new and more harsh restrictions. Among them, eight Local Government Areas have been imposed with a hard lockdown. These Local Government Areas include:

  1. Fairfield;
  2. Canterbury-Bankstown;
  3. Liverpool;
  4. Cumberland;
  5. Blacktown;
  6. Parramatta;
  7. George’s River; and
  8. Campbelltown


Individuals are not allowed to leave their homes unless any of the essential reasons apply. In short this includes:

  1. Shopping for food and essential goods;
  2. Medical care;
  3. Compassionate needs;
  4. Exercise; and
  5. Essential work or education

It is important to note that although the above essential reasons apply to all individuals living in Greater Sydney, if you live in any of the eight identified local government areas, you cannot leave your home for work unless you are an authorised worker. For more information on what is categorised as an authorised worker, visit the New South Wales Health website.


In the eight hotspot LGAs in Sydney’s south-west and west, people must wear a mask outdoors, as well as indoor areas aside from their own home.

For the rest of NSW, it is a requirement to wear a face mask in all indoor areas of non-residential premises. The fine for breaching the mask mandate has been increased to $500.

As well as wearing a face mask in all indoor areas, you must also wear a face mask:

  • At organised outdoor gatherings
  • If you are on public transport
  • In all indoor construction sites
  • In a major recreation facility such as a stadium or
  • If you are working in a hospitality venue

Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when you are working outdoors, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queue waiting for products such as coffee and food.


If your Court case is to be heard in Greater Sydney, all defended hearings up to 28 August will no longer proceed. Participants involved in those proceedings are not required to attend Court. However, they will still be listed for mention meaning you or your legal practitioner is required to notify the court via email of the status of the proceedings prior to 3:00 PM on the day before the hearing.

If you have pled guilty to a criminal offence and your matter is listed for sentence during the lockdown, your legal practitioner is required to make contact with the Court and seek leave to appear either in writing or by AVL. Alternatively, your legal practitioner may ask to have the proceedings adjourned. Similarity. All contact with the court must be done prior to 3:00 PM on the day before your Matter is due to be heard.


Although you may have seen people on the news or social media confronting police regarding the validity of social distancing restrictions, (often by raising points about Constitutional Law), it is important to acknowledge that failure to comply with a Public Health Order is an offence by virtue of section 10 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

Although the offence is not a conventional crime (such as murder, assault, prohibited drug possession/supply and sexual assault), State governments have the power to enact legislation which concerns public health and emergency management laws. With the exception of International Border Travel, the enactment of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) complies with the powers given to State Governments under section 51 of the Australian Constitution.

Pursuant to section 10 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) the penalty for failure to comply with a Public Health Order is punishable by a maximum penalty of $11,000.00 and/or imprisonment of 6 months. Whilst it is unlikely that offenders will receive these maximum imposed penalties, the extent of non-compliance will be a matter for the Courts to consider.

It is also important to note that corporations may also be found guilty of non-compliance and could be fined a maximum of $55,000.00 and/or $1,000.00 for each representative of the corporation found to be in non-compliance.


We understand that during this lockdown period, many people are doing it tough. Although you may have been issued with an infringement notice for failing to comply with the current Public Health Order, National Criminal Lawyers® can be retained to appear on your behalf and fight any charges laid against you.

Whilst many of us are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, it is vital that you retain specialist criminal defence lawyers to protect your interests and legal rights. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, contact our office immediately! At National Criminal Lawyers® our team of expert criminal defence lawyers will be able to help you understand the process and explore the possible defences.

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