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NSW records 863 new local COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths

NSW has recorded 863 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths on Tuesday.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said authorities are considering putting residents in Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook under lockdown, and extending the lockdown in Kempsey, as a result of rising cases in those areas.

“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,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

The majority of Tuesday’s new cases were recorded from the South Western Sydney Local Health District, with 241 cases, while in Western Sydney there were 161 cases.

The deaths were among four women and three men: one person was in their 40s, another in their 50s, two in their 70s, a further two in their 80s and one person was in their 90s.

Three people were fully vaccinated and three people had received one dose. One person was not vaccinated.

Chief Deputy Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said the three who died despite receiving two doses were only recently fully-vaccinated.

“Unfortunately, the vaccine didn’t have enough time to provide the protection that we would have wanted,” she said.

The majority of those who died, three, were from western Sydney, while two were from south-western Sydney, and one person was from northern Sydney.

A man in his 40s who was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions from Dubbo died in hospital.

NSW is now at 85.7 per cent first-dose vaccination target, with 60.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Mr Hazzard urged people to get a jab.

“Stop kidding yourself. You need to get vaccinated,” he said.

The Tweed and Byron LGAs will have their lockdown lifted at midnight tonight.

NSW will emerge from its lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay-at-home orders for large swathes of the state.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday declared the beginning of the “COVID-normal” era from December, with the phasing out of statewide or region-wide lockdowns to begin within two weeks.

Socially distanced reintroductions to hospitality venues and hairdressers will likely begin from October 11, at 70 per cent full vaccination coverage.

About two weeks later, the state is expected to reach 80 per cent coverage and travel between Greater Sydney and regional NSW will resume.

From October 25, gathering caps will increase, entertainment venues can operate at 75 per cent capacity, libraries and museums can reopen and community sport will resume.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says police won’t be routinely stopping people asking to see their vaccination passports but will be available to help business owners who refuse service to anyone.

“We will not be walking through restaurants and cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated,” he told 2GB radio on Tuesday.

From December 1, life will return to near normal for all NSW residents.

The “four square metre” social distancing rule reverts to two square metres and those who aren’t vaccinated can reintegrate with society.

Almost all remaining restrictions will ease at this point for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.