NSW govt prepares to unveil 80pc plan

Twelve people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 across three social housing buildings in Redfern.
Twelve people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 across three social housing buildings in Redfern.

The NSW government has prepared a "draft" reopening roadmap for when the state reaches 80 per cent double-dose vaccination in its eligible population, the deputy premier says.

John Barilaro on Thursday promised the government's risk appetite would increase proportionate to the state's first and second-dose coronavirus jab coverage.

However, two regional NSW council areas - Lismore and Albury - have been sent back into lockdown after new cases were uncovered.

NSW reported 1351 new local cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, taking the toll for the three month virus outbreak to 210.

The deaths included a man in his 40s, a man in his 50s, four people in their 60s, two in their 70s, three in their 80s and a man in his 90s.

Ten of the 12 had not received a single vaccine dose.

Having already unveiled plans to restore some freedoms to the fully vaccinated at 70 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage, the government on Thursday said further plans were in the works.

A plan for 80 per cent coverage - entailing further freedoms including international travel, larger gatherings at Christmas and larger audiences at major events - was in "draft form".

"That work was in parallel with the 70 per cent roadmap ... if we reach those targets earlier, we can be bold," Mr Barilaro told reporters.

"That'll give us other opportunities."

There are 1231 COVID-19 patients in NSW hospitals, with 231 people in intensive care units and 108 on ventilators.

The government also said it would move as quickly as possible to remove its classification of 12 western Sydney council "areas of concern", which has meant harsher restrictions for people living in those LGAs.

Residents in those coronavirus hotspots were again urged to come out in high numbers for vaccination as local curfews lift.

Vaccination numbers in the 12 local government areas have been surging but authorities hope they will push beyond 90 per cent.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard noted it was 100 days until Christmas.

"The best present you can give yourself, your family, your friends and the state is to get vaccinated ... go and do it," he said.

The unvaccinated will be shut out when NSW begins to reopen at the 70 per cent double-dose threshold in mid-October.

This "lockout" of unvaccinated people will be mandated in the public health order and not subject to business discretion. Mr Barilaro said more clarity would soon be provided to business.

Elsewhere, 12 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 across three social housing buildings in inner Sydney Redfern.

Mr Hazzard said it was another example of the virus "effectively identifying and moving in on the socially disadvantaged."

A mobile vaccination team is visiting each tower building to provide vaccinations to residents. Almost two-thirds have been jabbed.

Lismore and Albury council areas will also be forced back into lockdown, just days after restrictions in those areas lifted.

One case was uncovered in Lismore and two in Albury, with stay-at-home orders to resume in both towns for at least seven days.

A new case was also identified in Glen Innes, not yet locked down.

The Lismore case has prompted concern the renewed "border bubble" arrangements with Queensland could again burst.

However, 12 regional NSW council areas - Bega, Blayney, Bogan, Cabonne, Dungog, Forbes, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Parkes, Singleton, Snowy Monaro and Upper Hunter - will on Thursday exit lockdown.

Australian Associated Press