Confused over the current COVID-19 restrictions in the regions?
Wondering what picnic day is, what proof of vaccination means, and when then regions will exit lockdown?
Have a look at the list of Frequently Asked Questions and the answers.
When are we getting out of lockdown?
Good question! While COVID-19 lingers in the community, the chances of exiting lockdown depends on when the last case was announced.
Currently, local government areas (LGAs) must go 14 days in a row without a COVID-19 case.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro previously announced that local government areas (LGAs) would be assessed weekly.
"Every council will be reviewed every week," he said.
"There is an opportunity for other LGAs to come out of lockdown restrictions based on the last exposure in the community."
Mr Barilaro stipulated that LGAs that had a case in the last 14 days would not come out of lockdown.
"You've got to count the date of your last case, plus 14 days and that would be an opportunity to come out of lockdown," he said.
However, Mr Barilaro indicated that there may be a chance to exit lockdown ahead of schedule for regions with high vaccine uptakes.
"It's a consideration," he said.
"We set that 14-day threshold for active cases but as we are getting closer to that 70 per cent, I think we can be a bit more relaxed about one or two active cases.
"I think if that flexibility starts to come into the decision, it may be easier to take LGAs out sooner, rather than later."
What do the current regional lockdown restrictions mean?
Essential shopping is permitted across the regions, where residents can freely travel across the local government area for supplies. A 5 km radius applies to anyone who is travelling into an LGA they do not reside in.
Masks must be worn outdoors and inside premises.
Visitors will no longer be permitted in households. A single bubble has been introduced.
It also means businesses and hospitality venues will only operate on a limited scale or temporarily close.
Can I exercise or have a picnic with friends?
Yes and yes.
Exercise outdoors is permitted. You can exercise with one other person you don't live with or your household.
From Monday, September 13 outdoor picnic gatherings of up to five fully vaccinated people, not including children under 12-years old, will be allowed.
In the regions still under lockdown, gatherings must take place within your local government area and must be outside in a public place.
I'm fully vaccinated, how do I prove it?
You can download your Proof of Vaccination onto your phone or ask your vaccination provider to print it out for you. We've provided a handy guide to help.
Why are there reporting delays for COVID-19?
Our health professionals and contact tracers are working overtime to get the right information and sometimes there can be several delays.
Mr Barliaro has previously acknowledged delays in reporting COVID-19 information in a timely manner.
"It's very complex, [contact tracers] also have to investigate and we have cases at the moment where individuals aren't cooperative," he said.
"They don't give us information and it is difficult for us to put any information out.
"I accept that sometimes the information is not timely but it's difficult for many reasons."
Why don't we know all the exposure sites?
Once again, health professionals and contact tracers have their work cut out of them.
There are several reasons why not all the exposure sites are listed.
An Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District spokesperson said NSW Health did not disclose details about venues of concern unless there was a public health reason.
"When a confirmed COVID-19 case attends a venue while possibly infectious, NSW Health carries out a risk assessment on that venue to determine whether other people may have been exposed and whether there is a public health risk," they said.
"NSW Health takes proactive steps to contact all close contacts of the case, to give advice on testing, isolation, symptoms to be aware of, and their level of risk.
"Where a high-risk exposure venue is identified from the case interview, QR code information is used to identify and inform people who may have been exposed at that venue."
NSW Health acknowledged that the Delta outbreak and growing case numbers had created "significant challenges for the health system, including the public health response".
"The capacity of public health teams is closely monitored and continues to be expanded to meet the increasingly high demand," the spokesperson said.
Journalist at the Southern Highland News.
Journalist at the Southern Highland News.
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