NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has said regions which do not come out of lockdown this weekend, but have low or no cases in coming weeks, will not be tied to Greater Sydney when it comes to lifting restrictions.
In an update to regional journalists this afternoon, Mr Barilaro said the state's crisis committee would decide on lockdown restrictions easing for some regions, with an official announcement on Thursday.
"But there are areas where there might be just one case that's come through, like let's say Batemans Bay," he said.
"One case goes through the 14 day period so the community misses out on getting out of lockdown this weekend, you could possibly reconsider that in a couple of weeks.
"We should give those regions every opportunity to come out of lockdown as soon as possible."
Mr Barilaro assured communities on the South Coast there was enough ICU capacity in the event of an outbreak, but said getting vaccinated was the best way to support the healthcare system.
At this morning's state press conference, Premier Gladys Berejiklian released modelling done by health experts showed an ICU surge capacity of 1550 beds.
Mr Barilaro said the modelling numbers took the regions into account.
"We also have secondary plans in the regions to transfer people to other hospitals as needed and that's the approach that we're doing," he said.
"We've also mobilized to have additional air services available to move people around when and if numbers rise in the region."
Mr Barilaro also responded to reports people in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region were finding out they had been at a COVID-19 exposure venue via social media rather than from NSW Health.
"The reason social media is used is to get the awareness and the alert out there, and under the health order [if you have been to an exposure site] you must be tested and isolate," he said.
"We know contact tracers are stretched right across the state and we've had Dr. Kerry Chant say that, and that means their approach changes, so people will either receive a text or get a phone call from a contact tracer.
"My understanding is that process continues but it may not be immediately within the first few hours, it could take 24 to 48 hours."
Mr Barilaro said the consistent cases coming up in the Shoalhaven were cause for concern, but the lockdown was helping to stop the spread.
Residents in the Southern NSW Local Health District were also assured there was no change to the standing exemption which allowed them to travel to the ACT for medical reasons.
"There was an exemption that was permissible under the agreement with the ACT government," Mr Barilaro said.
"There's been no talk that that would change at this stage."
To find your nearest testing clinic, visit the NSW Health website.
To book a vaccine visit the eligibility website.