IT has been close to a week since there was a case of COVID-19 in the Hunter.
None of the 18 new cases detected across the state in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday were in the Hunter New England local health district.
The majority were in Greater Sydney and only two were not linked to existing outbreaks.
The most recent case of coronavirus in the Hunter was reported almost a week ago on Thursday, August 6.
That case was the third member of a Newcastle family to contract the virus.
Despite thousands of tests in the days since, there have been no further cases.
The vast majority of the 18 new cases detected in NSW were contracted through community transmission.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said one of the cases was from an overseas traveller and two were from interstate travellers.
She said 13 of the cases were locally acquired with links to existing outbreaks, and two did not have any links to known sources.
Dr Chant said there had been roughly 20 cases which did not have a known source over the past six weeks.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Wednesday that the government would introduce further measures if NSW residents did not increase their use of masks.
Businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, were also put on notice with Ms Berejiklian warning she would "take further action" if more businesses did not register their COVID safe plans.
"Whether it is a school extra-curricular activity which shouldn't occur, whether it's the recommendation for people to wear masks when they can't guarantee social distancing on public transport or in supermarkets, or whether it's the way in which we've asked businesses to approach a COVID-safe environment, compliance is absolutely critical," she said.
"I want to see a greater uptake in all those categories. If we don't see a greater uptake in the next little while, we will consider further measures in which we can increase that uptake.
"Some businesses are doing so well with COVID safe... and other businesses seem to be applying a partial model."
Ms Berejiklian also announced that NSW residents returning from Victoria would have their hotel quarantine fee waived for the next month to ease the financial burden on returnees.
The charge will be waived retrospectively and apply to NSW residents already in hotel quarantine after travelling from Victoria.
If we don't see a greater uptake in the next little while, we will consider further measures.Premier Berejiklian
"Hotel quarantine is key to reducing the risk of seeding of COVID-19 from Victoria into NSW," she said.
"We are asking any NSW residents who are in Victoria and want to come home to make their way back to NSW before Friday, 11 September if they want to avoid paying."
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