Here Are The Only “Reasonable Excuses” You Can Leave Your House Right Now

By Ben Tyers
1st Apr 2020


With press conferences happening every day from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, along with state Premiers, it can be hard to keep track of the latest coronavirus restrictions placed on Australians.

We're now in stage 3 of lockdown restrictions, with stage 4 likely if the transmission doesn't slow down as intended and further cases of coronavirus are detected in the community.

Your best resource to keep track of coronavirus symptoms, where tests have found positive cases and the latest government announcements is

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's latest advice is that all Australians must stay in their homes unless they need to leave to do the following:

  • Shopping for essentials
  • Medical care
  • To exercise (complying to social distancing and public gathering rules)
  • For work and education if you cannot do so remotely

On top of this, some states and territories have extra rules that apply to residents of those areas, here are the specific state rules.


The ACT is complying with the restrictions as outlined by the Prime Minister with no extra rules imposed.

Residents in the ACT can leave their house for:

  • Food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Excercise (complying to public gathering rules)
  • Work and education if you cannot do so remotely

New South Wales

The New South Wales government has a list of 16 "reasonable excuses" that people can leave their house for during stage 3 lockdown restrictions. If you don't comply, you run the risk of copping an on-the-spot fine of $1,000 with a maximum penalty of $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment.

Residents of New South Wales can leave their house for:

  • Food and necessary supplies, for the personal needs of the household (including pets), and shopping for vulnerable or at risk people
  • Travelling for work or education where you cannot do so remotely
  • Travelling to drop off/pick up a child from childcare
  • Travelling to attend a school or other educational facilities
  • Exercising (complying to public gathering rules)
  • For medical care, picking up health supplies, or fulfilling carer's responsibilities
  • Attending a wedding or funeral (according to national guidelines)
  • Moving to a new home or inspecting a new home
  • Providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • Blood donations
  • Any legal obligations
  • Accessing public services (social services, employment services, mental health services etc)
  • For children who do not live in the same household as parents or siblings
  • Working as a priest or minister of religion
  • For emergencies or compassionate reasons

Read our local article here.

Northern Territory

Currently, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory is not enforcing the two-person rule that other states and territories are enforcing, but encouraging residents to "do the right thing".

Limits on public gatherings are placed at groups of 10 people.


Queensland has eight rules in place currently for residents.

Residents of Queensland can leave their house for:

  • Buying food or essential goods and services
  • Obtaining medical treatment or other healthcare services
  • To exercise (complying to social distancing and public gathering rules)
  • Work or education when it can't be performed remotely
  • Visiting the terminally ill or attending a funeral
  • Caring for an immediate member of the family
  • Attending court or complying with a court order
  • Picking up/dropping off a child from a childcare facility, school, university etc

Read our local article here.


Tasmania's rules are similar to Queensland's. And the island state has closed its borders to the rest of Australia.

Aside from that, here are the reasons Tasmanians can leave their house:

  • Shopping for supplies
  • To exercise (complying to social distancing and public gathering rules)

  • Medical or healthcare appointments/treatments

  • Taking a family pet to a vet appointment

  • Providing social support or care to another person

  • Attending school or studying if unable to do so remotely

  • Attending work or volunteering if unable to do so remotely

  • Performing essential maintenance or security inspections of another premises owned or occupied by that person

  • Attending another location if a person has a reasonable excuse. At the discretion of the director of public health


Fines are already being handed out to Victorian residents found to be disobeying physical distancing rules. A Fitzroy restaurant/bar has already been handed a $9000 fine for not complying to the rules in place.

There are only four reasons in Victoria in which a person can leave their home:

  • Buying food, or purchasing necessary goods
  • For health care or compassionate reasons
  • Attending work or education if unable to do so remotely
  • To exercise (complying to social distancing and public gathering rules

Read our local article here.

Western Australia

Western Australia has not set fines yet for disobeying the rules, but has suggested residents follow the rules announced by the Prime Minister.

Read our local article here.

Need to take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some movies you should check out.

Image credit: Daniel Tafjord

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