Crisis cabinet members are anticipating an extension of lockdown orders in regional NSW as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Deputy premier John Barilaro told regional media on Wednesday, following crisis cabinet discussions that afternoon, the plan for the regional NSW would be announced on Thursday.
He flagged a possible extension of the lockdown in a large number of communities due to growing case numbers.
"[With] what's happening in Western NSW, the far west, the surveillance down the South Coast, continued stubborn cases - even though low - in the Hunter and the Central Coast and then of course bigger numbers in the Illawarra, I have no doubt that there will be a level of restrictions for many, many LGAs in regional/rural NSW," Mr Barilaro said.
"What we will now have to consider is how many LGAs aren't impacted and then make a decision. Will we go by a LGA by LGA? That's the meeting I am going into, we will take health advice, we'll work through that this afternoon and we will announce something tomorrow (Thursday)."
In the morning's 11am Sydney press conference Mr Barilaro was asked about a comment from the Tweed Heads MP saying the whole state lockdown was going to be extended by six-weeks.
"The government and the crisis committee will be considering what happens post-Saturday, we haven't made any decision around the extension of the restrictions on lockdown for regional and rural NSW," he said.
"The reality is this is about protecting lives, and making sure we don't lose control in regional and rural NSW. We've also got the threat that's happening in Victoria and regional Victoria, on the Albury-Wodonga or the NSW-Victoria border, especially places like Shepparton.
"So we'll look at all that, we'll take the advice from Dr Kerry Chant and her team and the crisis committee will make a decision. And like last week we'll make that decision sooner rather than later and give people plenty of notice."
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, one of the seven ministers involved in crisis cabinet discussions, said that people only had to look at case numbers to see that an extension of the lockdown orders was necessary.
"I think it's very clear to see that out here in the Central West and the far west, we've had cases that have continued to pop up over the last few days. That clearly shows that the lockdown here in this part of the state is going to continue for a bit longer," he said.
"You really need to have no additional cases popping up in the community, sewage detection would need to be low, and at the moment we haven't got to that point on both of those situations.
"If you have a look at wider regional NSW and where you actually see the cases and the spread of the virus, it is clear that a large proportion of regional NSW is being impacted at the moment. It also shows that where there is not a case that the stay at home orders are working by protecting and keeping those communities safe from the COVID virus."
With lockdowns expected to continue for a while longer, Mr Toole said the best thing people can do is get vaccinated.
The NSW Government has said that more freedoms will be available to vaccinated people in the coming weeks and months.
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