Thousands given just hours to prepare as more regions locked down

·2-min read

Two more NSW regions are heading into lockdown from tonight, with people urged to come forward for testing.

Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast and Muswellbrook local council in the Upper Hunter will see stay-at-home measure introduced from 6pm on Tuesday.

NSW Health said the lockdown restrictions will last for seven days "due to an increased Covid-19 public health risk".

The stay-at-home orders also apply to anyone who has been in the Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook LGAs since September 17 and September 22.

Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook Local Government Areas will go into lockdown from Tuesday night. Source: AAP
Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook Local Government Areas will go into lockdown from Tuesday night. Source: AAP

"Everyone in these LGAs must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason, which includes shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise and work or tertiary education if you can’t work or study at home," NSW Health said in a statement.

"To determine the extent of the risk and detect any further potential Covid-19 cases in these areas, we are calling on the communities to come forward for testing in large numbers."

The health department said a strong response to testing will be a "key factor" when determining if stay-at-home orders are extended beyond a week.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard flagged at the daily press conference Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook may go into lockdown, while Kempsey may have it's lockdown extended.

"These decisions are not made lightly," he said.

"I'm putting the community on notice that there may be a further announcement today in regard to all three of those areas or any one of those three areas."

However, NSW Health confirmed Kempsey would be coming out of lockdown at midnight on Tuesday.

Kempsey was locked down last week after a person working on a reality TV show in the region visited numerous venues while infectious with COVID-19.

"However, this order may be reintroduced if new information indicates an increased public health risk," the press release said.

The lockdown in Byron and Tweed will also end at midnight. 

On Monday night, it was announced Cowra in the central west would remain in lockdown for another week due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 transmissions.

Stay-at-home orders for Yass Valley lifted on Tuesday as scheduled.

NSW recorded 863 new locally-acquired Covid cases on Tuesday, with seven deaths, one of which was an unvaccinated man in his 40s from Dubbo.

More to come.

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