With new cases of Covid-19 popping up periodically, rules about where people can go, what services are considered essential, and how many people can gather (if at all) in Australian cities can change rapidly.

It can be confusing. Here’s a simple breakdown of the venues that have been forced to close, and what is staying open. Note that state restrictions may differ.

We're updating this list as the situation changes in different states.

Essential services – remaining open

• Supermarkets
• Convenience stores
• Butchers
• Grocers
• Markets
• Bottle shops
• Petrol stations
• Pharmacies
• All allied health centres
• Shopping centres (eateries in food courts permitted to do takeaway only)
• Hairdressers and barbers (appointments must be under 30 minutes)
• Schools remain open for “essential workers”

Non-essential services – closed already, or to close by 11.59pm on March 30

• Restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes (but takeaway and home delivery are permitted)
• Gyms, public swimming pools, indoor sporting venues (allied-health services conducted on these premises, such as physiotherapy, are permitted)
• Cinemas
• Nightclubs
• Places of worship
• Arcades
• Galleries and museums
• Play centres
• Beauty, nail, waxing and tanning salons
• Tattoo parlours
• Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and skate parks


Limited to two people, superseding earlier restrictions on outdoor gatherings and indoor gatherings.
• Weddings: maximum of five people.
• Funerals: maximum of 10 people.
• Dinner parties and house parties advised against, and now illegal in Victoria.
• Real-estate auctions and open-house inspections halted.
• Outdoor exercise groups and boot camps halted.

Retail, broadly, seems to be exempt from mandated federal closures.

On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Scott Morrison also reinforced social-distancing guidelines, advising Australians to “stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary” to leave the house, which he defined as shopping for basics, exercising and going out for medical reasons.

“You should only go outside your home to go to those essential things I talked about, not to go and congregate in groups,” he said. He also “strongly encouraged” all Australians to work from home where possible.

“Visits to your premises, to your house, to your residence, should be kept to a minimum and with very small numbers of guests,” Morrison said. “We don’t want to be overly specific about that, we want Australians to exercise their common sense.”

*A note on essential workers: “Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker,” said the prime minister last night. “It can be essential in a service whether it’s a nurse or a doctor or a schoolteacher, or a public servant who is working tonight to ensure that we can get even greater capacity in our Centrelink offices.”

For more details on the two latest rounds of nationwide restrictions, see Tuesday’s story Scott Morrison Announces Stricter Coronavirus Measures For Weddings, Funerals, Salons, Travel and More and Monday’s story These Are the “Non-Essential” Services Restricted From Opening in Australia From Noon on Monday March 23.