Two NSW towns have been plunged back into lockdown for seven days after health officials discovered new Covid-19 cases in regional parts of the state.
Stay-at-home orders will be reintroduced in Port Macquarie on the state's mid-north coast and Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter region, NSW Health announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Anyone living in those local government areas must stay home unless they have an essential reason.
Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook in regional NSW have been plunged back into lockdown (pictured is the Eatons Hotel in Muswellbrook)
The seven-day lockdown though in the mid-north coast Kempsey LGA will be lifted at midnight on Tuesday night.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard earlier on Tuesday warned the lockdown in the Port Macquarie area could be extended after two-locally acquired cases were detected over the weekend.
'These decisions are not made lightly,' he said.
'My strong advice to all of the residents in those areas is to be very cautious where you are moving around at the moment, and to certainly go out and get vaccinated.'
NSW recorded 863 new infections and seven deaths on Tuesday. The Victorian Department of Health earlier in the day confirmed 867 local cases of the virus.
It marks the first time Victoria has reported more Covid-19 cases than NSW since the Delta crisis began.
NSW has recorded seven deaths - including two residents in their 80s, two in their 70s and one each in their 40s, 50s and 90s
The seven deaths in NSW included two residents in their 80s, two in their 70s and one each in their 40s, 50s and 90s.
Mr Hazzard said the state's single-dose vaccination rate had hit 85.7 per cent - while 60.4 per cent are fully-vaccinated.
NSW as a whole is preparing to emerge from 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.
More to come