On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, residents of the upper northern beaches can have five guests into their home, but they must also be residents of the north zone.
In the lower northern beaches zone, households can also have five guests, and again they must reside in the zone south of the Narrabeen Bridge and the Baha’i Temple.
What if I live in Greater Sydney?
For those in Greater Sydney (which includes Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains), household gatherings will also be limited to five visitors which includes children.
The maximum size of outdoor gatherings is now 30 people, down from 50.
What are the “green” and “yellow” zones on New Year’s Eve?
From 5pm on New Year’s Eve, a “green zone” will be in effect around Circular Quay, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Garden in the CBD as well as Bradfield Park, Lavender Bay, Blues Point, Kurraba Reserve and Cremorne Reserve on the lower north shore.
Anyone planning to be in these areas from 5pm will need to apply for a New Year’s Eve pass from the Service NSW website.
The yellow zone is a perimeter around the green zone, stretching to North Sydney, Cremorne Point, Waverton, Pyrmont, Rushcutters Bay and Balmain East. You do not need a permit to enter the yellow zone, but large groups in these areas on New Year’s Eve may be moved on by police.
Am I eligible for a pass?
New Year’s Eve passes will be granted only to those with a hospitality, event or accommodation booking in the green zone after 5pm, residents of the green zone and their guests, and those working in the green zone that evening.
How do I apply for a pass?
Passes are available until Wednesday from Service NSW. If you have a booking at a venue inside the green zone, the venue can give you a code that you use to apply for your pass.
It is worth confirming bookings for New Year’s Eve because they were probably made during the period when restaurants, pubs and bars were allowed one patron per two square metres. Last week, the public health order halved venue capacity, so check that that table still has your name on it.
Residents of the green zone will need to apply for a pass and register any planned guests with Service NSW. To do this, you will need two identity documents with your green zone address, as well as the number of people you will be hosting (you will receive a code for them to use to apply for their own passes, as if they were attending a venue).
Can I have a pass if I work in an office building in the green zone and usually pop up at midnight to have a look?
I’m a frontline worker who’d like to watch the fireworks in the green zone – how do I register?
Unfortunately, the plan to have frontline workers watch the fireworks up close was cancelled on Monday in light of ongoing coronavirus cases in Sydney. “We’ll find another opportunity during the year to recognise what you have done,” the Premier said.
I’m a resident or worker in the yellow zone on New Year’s Eve. Do I need a pass to be in the area?
No, you do not need a pass to enter a yellow zone on New Year’s Eve, or to host a permitted gathering of up to 10 people at your home. Just don’t gather in big groups outside: remember that on Monday permitted outdoor gatherings in Greater Sydney were reduced to 50 people (from 100) and police have said they will move people on who are gathering in larger numbers in these areas.
What time will public transport stop in the green and yellow zones on New Year’s Eve?
There will be no trains to Circular Quay from 5pm on New Year’s Eve. Trains will only run to pick people up from the area.
There will also be no ferries running to or from Circular Quay after 5pm. Trains and buses will continue to run to Wynyard and Martin Place as usual and some ferries will continue to run to and from Barangaroo.
In the north, trains from the city will not stop at Milsons Point from 5pm and ferries to McMahons Point will stop then, too. Trains will continue to run to North Sydney station.
What about the roads?
Roads in the city will begin closing from 2pm around Circular Quay and from 7pm around the rest of the CBD and Milsons Point and North Sydney.
I’m not eligible for a New Year’s Eve pass but want to watch the fireworks, what are my options?
The Premier would likely say you should turn on ABC TV at home. If you do want to see the fireworks in person, be aware there are a number of road and park closures around the harbour outside the green zone.
Vantage points in North Sydney Council area such as Milsons Point, McMahons Point, Cremorne Point and Kurraba Point will be closed to avoid mass outdoor gatherings. All foreshore vantage points west of Dumaresq Reserve at Rose Bay will be closed by Woollahra Council, but those further east will remain open.
Inner West Council has closed parks along the Balmain foreshore and Hunters Hill Council will be restricting access to Clarkes Point and the Woolwich Peninsula to residents. There will be no barge fireworks west of the bridge this year.
If you want to stand in a socially distanced way along the footbridge at West Pennant Hills Coles – a great view: the whole display at once! – you seem welcome to do that.
What time will public transport resume on New Year’s Day?
Trains will run until 5.30am to take people home from the CBD and lower north shore.
Be aware there will be trackwork on the Harbour Bridge from 6am on January 1 through to Sunday, January 10, with buses replacing all trains between North Sydney and Wynyard.
Mary Ward is a health reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Amelia McGuire is a junior producer at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Laura is a crime reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.