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COVID-19 and Australia Day >

Our priority is to keep the community COVID Safe. >

COVID-19 and Australia Day

Our priority is to keep the community COVID Safe. So we're staying on top of public health orders and following NSW Health advice.

Stay up-to-date

Check for what you can and can't do under the rules, health and wellbeing advice, case locations, symptoms and testing clinics. 

Australia Day 2021 is different due to COVID-19

This past year has given us so much to reflect on. As we continue to face challenges, our national day is a time to reflect on and celebrate hope and solidarity. This spirit of togetherness gives us the strength to continue to see a positive future.

Australia Day 2021 in Sydney and across NSW will be different to what we are used to. It is still, however, a day of reflection, respect, unity, gratitude and a celebration of our many achievements.

Watch events on TV or online

We encourage you to gather with family and friends to watch the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, Salute to Australia and Australia Day Live at Sydney Opera House on ABC TV or iview.


Tickets to attend events in person

A limited number of free tickets to the WugulOra Morning Ceremony and Australia Day Live were released on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets booked out fast! Crowd numbers for both events will be limited in keeping with COVID Safe guidelines.

You are encouraged to watch these events from the comfort of your own home on ABC TV or on iview. 

Sydney Harbour program

Some of events traditionally held on Sydney Harbour on 26 January are not going ahead in 2021. These include:

  • Ferrython
  • Harbour Parade
  • Tug and Yacht Ballet
  • Tall Ships Race

We look forward to welcoming these events back in 2022.

Salute to Australia will be a private ceremony held at Government House Sydney (rather than on Sydney Harbour and the Circular Quay foreshore). This ceremony is not open to the general public. We encourage you to watch this ceremony on ABC TV or iview.

Circular Quay foreshore will be closed to the general public from 5pm

Only ticket holders will be allowed into Circular Quay foreshore after 5pm. 

You will NOT be admitted into the Circular Quay foreshore area after 5pm unless you have one of the following:

  • a confirmed booking for a restaurant or venue
  • a confirmed booking to board a commercial charter vessel
  • a ticket for Australia Day Live.

QR check-in with the Service NSW app is required to enter the Circular Quay foreshore. See the pedestrian access map

For private boat owners and commercial operators

As usual, boats will be permitted on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day.

Be aware of the 6 Knots No Wash Zone and Exclusion Zones that will affect the Sydney Harbour Bridge transit zone.

Learn more about safe boating during major events

A map of exclusion zones is available on the Transport for NSW website.

Please note: Occupiers of premises or event organisers are responsible for adhering to any relevant public health orders, as well as preparing and implementing a COVID Safety Plan (if required). For the most up to date information about this event, please refer to the event organiser's website.

Protect yourself and others

Being COVID Safe and reducing the spread is a responsibility we all share.

Protect yourself and others

Follow the rules

Know what you can and can't do under the rules for outdoor gatherings, visiting family and friends, and going out. 

Plan ahead

Plan outdoor activities and events, where possible. If you do gather indoors, choose a large, well-ventilated area. Open windows and doors, if you can.

Practice physical distancing

Stay 1.5 metres from people you don’t live with. Follow safety markings such as stickers and signage.

Practice good hygiene

Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. 

Wear a face mask

Wear a face mask if it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres from others, or if the venue or business asks you to do so. Wearing a mask on public transport is strongly recommended.

Check in

Check in to events, venues and businesses every time. Providing your name and contact number ensures NSW Health can contact you quickly and easily, if necessary.

Download the Service NSW app

Download the Service NSW app before you arrive to make contactless check-in easy at events or venues displaying a Service NSW QR code.

If you are unwell, stay home

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, get tested immediately. Stay home until you receive a negative test result. Testing is free, quick and easy.