The lockdown in Greater Sydney will be extended until the end of September.
It comes as Premier Gladys Berejiklian implements what she calls “final measures” to tackle the surge in virus numbers.
They include a 9pm to 5am curfew in Local Government Areas of concern, including the 12 Penrith suburbs previously announced as part of the rules.
Exercise is also being limited to one hour a day in the Areas of Concern.
Masks also must be worn outdoors across the entire state unless exercising.
The following retail premises in Areas of Concern must close except for click and collect: garden centres and plant nurseries, office supplies, hardware and building supplies, landscaping material supplies, rural supplies, and pet supplies (tradespeople are allowed to shop in-store where relevant).
“I apologise deeply, to the vast majority of people in those communities who are so doing the right thing, but for our own health and safety moving forward we need to make these difficult decisions,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian also announced that childcare and disability workers in Areas of Concern will face mandatory vaccines and must get their first jab by August 30.
Authorised workers who work outside their LGA of concern are only permitted to work if rapid antigen testing is implemented at their work-site or if they have had their first vaccination dose by 30 August.
She also made this plea to parents: “Unless you absolutely have to please do not send your child to childcare or early childhood. We understand some families don’t have a choice and we get that.”
As part of the lockdown extension, Central Coast and Shellharbour will move to regional status.
Meantime, a man in his 80s who was battling COVID-19 at Nepean Hospital has passed away.
It comes after 642 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 were reported in New South Wales to 8pm last night.
35 were reported in the Nepean Blue Mountains Health District.
In some more positive news, more than 130,000 people were vaccinated in New South Wales yesterday.
At those rates, Ms Berejiklian expects NSW will continue to reach its vaccination targets.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.