Limits on public gatherings for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public gatherings and social occasions significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Rules for public gatherings and social gatherings differ between states and territories.

Living in a COVIDSafe Australia

Australia has been highly successful in 'flattening the curve'. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Australia each day is now very low. We are now beginning to take careful steps to ease some of the restrictions that have helped us suppress the spread of this virus. 

Why these limits are important

The 3-Step Plan to a COVIDSafe Australia maps out a pathway states and territories can take to ease restrictions in the coming months, depending on their circumstances. Each state and territory will move forward at their own pace.

Physical distancing and hygiene

Everyone should continue keeping their distance from other people whenever possible. When we are around other people, it is important we practice physical distancing – also called social distancing –  and good hygiene. You should also consider downloading the COVIDSafe app, which works alongside physical distancing, good hygiene and enhanced testing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

States and territories

State and territory governments have different restrictions in place for public gatherings. Please visit your state or territory website for more information.

You can also use the healthdirect COVID-19 restriction checker tool.


The health advice on schools has not changed. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advises it is safe for schools to be open with students attending.

States and territories are making decisions regarding schools based on local circumstances. Visit your state or territory government website for more information.

Aged care facilities

Special restrictions remain in place for aged care facilities to protect older Australians. On 10 June (published 19 June), the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) updated their advice for residential aged care facilities.

Community sport and recreation

A set of National Principles as well as the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment, will guide a staged resumption of sport and recreation in Australia.

The National Principles will make clear how sport and recreational activities can only occur. Stringent public and personal health measures will need to be in place.

Sport and recreation activities will resume in stages, guided by the Framework. This applies to high performance, community, and individual activities. 

A specialist COVID-19 Sports and Health Committee will also be established. It will include relevant sports medicine and health experts from the AIS, sports, and governments to monitor and support the resumption process. It will report to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

See our advice on exercising and staying active during COVID-19 restrictions

Large events at stadiums, arenas and theatres

State and territory health authorities will decide when large events can go ahead. The AHPPC has provided advice on the safe return of crowds to stadiums, arenas and large theatres. This advice covers risk assessments and risk management plans, and the public health measures event organisers need to put in place.

Last updated: 
6 October 2021

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