With the Christmas shopping rush now in full swing, NSW Health is reminding the community about the importance of maintaining physical distancing and other COVID safe practices at shopping and retail venues.

NSW Health’s Dr Chatu Yapa said there are many ways to keep safe while still managing to cross off your shopping lists.

“This year we’re asking people to avoid crowded shopping centres. If the shopping centre is too crowded, you should consider returning at an off-peak time, doing your gift shopping online or shopping locally at community businesses,” Dr Yapa said.

With restrictions being eased and borders reopening, now is not the time to be complacent. Experience has shown us how easily the virus can spread through the community if we let our guard down.


“It is strongly recommended you wear a face mask and minimise time spent inside shops if you can’t physically distance.”

“If you’re unwell, please don’t go shopping. Stay home and get tested immediately. This is one of the best ways you can protect others during this busy season,” Dr Yapa said.

Shopping centres across Sydney should expect a visit from SafeWork NSW inspectors, who will be helping ensure that shops are COVID safe during the busy Christmas shopping season.

Inspectors will be checking that they have a NSW Government-registered COVID Safety Plan, are adhering to physical distancing and hygiene measures, have provisions in place in the event of a COVID-19 case occurring at the site, and are electronically recording all entries to the premises.

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Remember, the best protection against COVID-19 is to do all of the following:

Keep 1.5 metres from other people
Wash your hands often and use hand sanitiser when out and about
Avoid crowded shopping centres and try to shop at off-peak times. Why not consider shopping locally, to support community businesses, or using “click and collect” where available. Consider online shopping as an alternative to physically going to the shops
If you can’t physically distance, it is strongly recommended you wear a face mask and minimise time spent inside shops.