There are only 16 "reasonable excuses" to leave your house right now. Here's what they are.

Australians are currently subject to unprecedented laws as the government moves to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

At the time of reporting, on April 1, there are over 4,750 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated all Australians must stay home unless:

  • Shopping for what you need – although this should be done “as infrequently as possible”
  • For medical care or compassionate needs
  • To exercise “in compliance with the public gathering rules”
  • For work and education, if you cannot work or learn remotely.

Watch: Scott Morrison announces all Australians must stay home. Post continues after video. 

Video by Channel Nine

Now, states and territories have made this enforceable – with some more strict than others.

Here is a breakdown of the rules in each Australian state and territory.

New South Wales

As of Tuesday, March 31, any person in NSW may be given an on-the-spot fine of $1,000 for leaving their house without a “reasonable excuse”. The maximum penalty is $11,000 or six months imprisonment (or both), which can be issued by a court. The new law allows an additional $5500 for each day the offence continues.

Here are the 16 “reasonable excuses” a person in NSW can go outside…

1. Obtaining food or other goods or services for the personal needs of the household or
other household purposes (including for pets) and for vulnerable persons.

2. Travelling for the purposes of work if the person cannot work from the person’s place
of residence.

3. Travelling for the purposes of attending childcare (including picking up or dropping
another person at childcare).

4. Travelling for the purposes of facilitating attendance at a school or other educational
institution if the person attending the school or institution cannot learn from the
person’s place of residence.

5. Exercising.

6. Obtaining medical care or supplies or health supplies or fulfilling carer’s

7. Attending a wedding or a funeral .

8. Moving to a new place of residence (including a business moving to new premises)
or between different places of residence of the person or inspecting a potential new
place of residence.

9. Providing care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or
providing emergency assistance.

10. Donating blood.


11. Undertaking any legal obligations.

12. Accessing public services (whether provided by Government, a private provider or a
non-Government organisation), including social services, employment services, domestic violence services, mental health services and services provided to victims (including as victims of crime).

13. For children who do not live in the same household as their parents or siblings or one
of their parents or siblings—continuing existing arrangements for access to, and
contact between, parents and children or siblings.

14. For a person who is a priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order—
going to the person’s place of worship or providing pastoral care to another person.

15. Avoiding injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

16. For emergencies or compassionate reasons.

READ: ‘Can I visit my partner?’ All your questions about the two-person gathering limit, answered.


In Victoria, people have been given just five reasons they can leave the home. These are…

1. To obtain necessary goods or services.

2. For care or other compassionate reasons.

3. To attend work or education.

4. For exercise.

5. For other extenuating circumstances.

You can read the full list of “other reasons” here.


Queensland has eight specific reasons residents are permitted to leave their home:

1. Obtaining food or other essential goods or services.

2. Obtaining medical treatment or other healthcare services.

3. Engaging in physical exercise, either alone or in the company of no more than one other person; or in the company of a family group who ordinarily live in the same household.

4. Performing work on behalf of an employer that is engaged in essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence.

5. Visiting a terminally ill relative or to attend a funeral.

6. Providing assistance, care or support to an immediate member of the person’s family.

7. Attending any court of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the court.

8. Attending a childcare facility, school, university or other educational institution, to the extent care or instruction cannot reasonably be obtained in the person’s principal place of residence.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT issued a statement saying there are requiring their resident to only leave their homes for the following reasons:


1. Shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies.

2. Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements.

3. Exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements.

4. Work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.


Tasmania has their own set of excuses for residents to leave their homes too. These are…

1. Shopping for supplies.

2. Undertaking personal exercise.

3. Attending medical or healthcare appointments or for medical treatment.

4. Seeking veterinary services.

5. Providing social support or care to another person.

6. Attending school or study, if unable to be done at home.

7. Attending work, or volunteering, if unable to be done at home.

8. Performing essential maintenance, or security inspections, of other premises owned or occupied by the person.

9. Attending another location if the person has a reasonable excuse, in the opinion of the director of public health.

Northern Territory

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said police would not be enforcing the two-person rule right now – but encouraged people to do the right thing – and said their priority was to secure the borders and protect remote communities.

“If it’s something that needs to be enforced down the track, we’ll do that. Police are currently enforcing a limit on groups of 10.”

South Australia

South Australia has similarly said they will not be enforcing the two-person rule in their state right now.

“The advice coming from the National Cabinet is that gatherings of two or more should be discouraged and we’d certainly be encouraging people to take that as strong advice, to limit the number of people that they’re engaging with other than family members,” South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.

“But when it comes to enforcement we’ll be looking at that 10 or more rule.”

Western Australia

As of right now, Western Australia won’t be fining their residents for leaving the house, however they still strongly encourage those in WA to follow the guidelines outlined by the Prime Minister.

Read more on COVID-19:

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

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