SYDNEY will lock down until the end of September in what NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has billed the "final measures" to tighten the screws on COVID-19's spread.
Masks will also be mandatory outdoors across the state until August 28, when regional NSW's lockdown is scheduled to end.
Ms Berejiklian said the state recorded 642 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday, and at least 41 - a number Ms Berejiklian said would increase - were infectious in the community.
It comes a day after the Central Coast and Shellharbour slated to separate from the Greater Sydney umbrella.
The statewide lockdown was extended until at least August 28 on Thursday.
They will not be included in the longer Sydney lockdown, which Ms Berejiklian said takes effect from Monday at midnight.
Ms Berejiklian said the "sudden escalation in case numbers" this week had prompted the harsher measures.
"I don't want us to look back and say we didn't try, we didn't put everything into this," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Other states that have put lockdown measures in place have still seen cases grow.
"Even a handful of people doing the wrong thing has been shown to have tragic consequences."
"We need these measures to slow the growth of this escalating outbreak," NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said, noting the vast majority of hospital cases were not vaccinated.
"All of us have a responsibility to do our part and protect each other and our loved ones.
"Our vaccines are effective, even one dose, but two is much better."
Three fresh cases were added to both the Central Coast and Hunter tallys.
For the Hunter there was one each in Wallsend, Jesmond and Tenambit.
All are linked and none were infectious in the community.
Deputy premier John Barilaro said it was imperative people were tested "but more importantly, get vaccinated".
27 new cases were added in western NSW, as well as fresh cases in the state's far west.
The Sydney LGA measures include curfews from 9pm to 5am in the Sydney local government areas of concern.
"Delta doesn't leave any room for error," Ms Berejiklian said.
"I apologise to the vast majority of people in those communities doing the right thing."
"We've thrown everything at this, and now it's time to bunker down."
"This is it. We do everything we can to reduce case numbers, and we do everything to get vaccination numbers up."
Ms Berejiklian said what life looked like after 6 million were vaccinated in NSW would be laid out next week, in addition to a plan for schools.
Exercise will be cut back to an hour a day in the areas of concern, Ms Berejiklian said.
"Police have given us feedback that a handful of people unfortunately are doing the wrong thing where that is concerned," she said.
Regional or metropolitan, Ms Berejiklian said mask wearing had to tighten.
"Unless you are exercising, masks should be worn everywhere outdoors in NSW," he said.
"Even when you are exercising, you need to have the mask with you in case you are doing some strenous exercise and you come into contact with somebody else."
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A permit system for people leaving Sydney is due to come into force on Saturday.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said it was now an offence to leave Sydney for regional NSW without a permit, and that applications for permits would be available from at least midnight.
"The time for cautions is over," he said.
132,000 vaccinations were delivered across NSW in the same 24-hour period.
"Our aim is always keeping out of hospital, keeping people alive and well," Ms Berejiklian said.
"If we keep this rate going, we will hit all our targets in regards to vaccination."
29 per cent of the state's population is now fully inoculated.
The state also recorded four deaths - two women in their 80s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 70s. They were either unvaccinated or had received just one dose of vaccine, Ms Berejiklian said.
121 people in NSW have now died due to the pandemic.
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