NSW introduces COVID-19 friends bubble for children to visit homes during school holidays

Children will soon be able to meet up with their friends under a new rule signed off by the New South Wales government.

The so-called 'friends' or 'playdate' bubble will allow three people under-18 to meet up as they all live within the same local government area or within five kilometres of home.

Adults supervising will need to be fully vaccinated.

From midday today, people aged 18 years and under who live in stay-at-home areas and areas of concern across NSW will be able to create a bubble of three friends and visit each other's homes for play and activity.

The rule is subject to the following conditions:

  • Each child is allowed to have two designated friends come to their house. These two friends must always be the same, creating a three-person bubble.
  • All people older than 18 years in all the households must be fully vaccinated.
  • The friends must live within 5km of each other or in the same LGA.
  • If parents/carers are dropping children off, they must not stay to interact with other parents or carers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said strong vaccination rates had allowed the state to make the change to support the wellbeing of young people.

"Parents and children have had a difficult few months, trying to balance both work, often from home, as well as home schooling," she said.

"This change will hopefully make a big difference for families during the school holidays and allow young children and teenagers to catch up and reconnect with their friends."

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the change would allow students to create a study bubble before the HSC.

"Year 12 students have had a stressful few months, and with the HSC approaching, a study bubble is a great idea to help students maintain motivation, receive support from a classmate and continue their preparation for the upcoming exams," Ms Mitchell said.