Even tighter restrictions have been introduced in Greater Sydney, as NSW recorded 111 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, three weeks into lockdown. From midnight tonight, residents of the three local government areas (LGA) that have recorded 80 per cent of current cases – Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown – are not allowed to leave their LGA, unless they work in emergency services or health.

Also from midnight tonight, only "critical" retail will be allowed to remain open. The NSW Government will release a list of those retailers permitted to stay open later today, but NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said it will include the likes of supermarkets and pharmacies. "Anything which is regarded as non-critical retail will not be able to have face-to-face," said Berejiklian.

And in a huge new restriction, there will be a pause placed on all non-urgent construction in Greater Sydney from midnight tonight. This means that, unless urgent maintenance – such as electricity repairs – is required, construction cannot go ahead. There are also new, harsher, fines for employers who force their staff to go to into an office environment.

"I can’t remember a time when our state has been challenged to such an extent," said Berejiklian. "I can’t remember a time when government has had to make these difficult decisions."

Restrictions in regional NSW remain unchanged.

Stay up to date with the latest Covid news and updates at NSW Health.