Two women have admitted breaking out of Sydney's lockdown and attending several parties in Newcastle, sparking a months-long lockdown.
Josephine Lado, 20, and Sulafa Ageeb, 21, both tested positive to COVID-19 after spending several days shopping and partying in Newcastle in late July.
According to police facts tendered in Ageeb's case, the Epping woman repeatedly lied to police and ignored warnings to return home during her trip.
On one occasion, she and Lado were advised they would be fined and were directed to return to Sydney - only to attend further parties in Shortland and Blacksmiths Beach the next night.
A "significant" number of infected people in the Hunter region had direct links to the women's movement patterns, the facts sheet said, leading prosecutors to say the only reasonable hypothesis was that Lado and Ageeb's actions directly resulted in COVID-19 spreading across the region.
"Their conduct, whilst affected by COVID-19, have seriously jeopardised the health and safety of communities outside the greater Sydney metro area," the facts sheet states.
"Their actions have realised lockdown restrictions in the communities they unlawfully attended, seriously impacting citizens, businesses and education providers."
Each submitted guilty pleas via email on Wednesday to failing to comply with a COVID-19 health order and failing to comply with COVID check-in registrations.
They'll be sentenced at later dates by Sydney magistrates.
Ageeb admitted the pair and two other women went clothes shopping and entered a nail salon in Charlestown on July 29 before going to a house party in Shortland that night.
When police were alerted to the party about 1.45am on July 30, they saw "numerous" people run into a parked car and found the offenders in the back seat pretending to sleep.
Police claim the pair undertook a "calculated and concerted effort" to alter check-in and address data in their Service NSW app.
Ordered to return home and told to expect $1000 fines in the mail, Ageeb and Lado instead remained in Newcastle for a further night.
First up was a large party at Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie before heading back to the Shortland home for another party, which police say was attended by "numerous" others.
They caught a train home on July 31.
Positive cases in the region related to the women were uncovered on August 5, sparking an immediate lockdown that is yet to be lifted.
Several shops visited by the women were declared close contact venues.
Ageeb later came clean to police, telling them from a quarantine hotel that she'd left home after an argument with her sister and knew full well going to Newcastle breached Sydney's lockdown laws.
The host of the Shortland house parties also allegedly held a gathering for more than 40 people on July 28 attended by Lado.
Nathan Koko, who also later tested positive to COVID-19, was charged with breaching the public health order.
The 22-year-old's case will be mentioned in Newcastle Local Court on November 11.
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