Three council areas in the NSW northern rivers region, including Byron Bay, are being sent back into lockdown.
“I have … spoken with the local members of parliament and other community leaders and there's a general understanding of the need for those lockdowns,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Tuesday.
The lockdown will start at 5pm on Tuesday, for seven days before being reviewed.
It comes after a number of cases were identified in the area, including an essential worker who travelled to Byron bay from Sydney.
“As I understand it it's somebody who has travelled into the area with an appropriate permit and had actually had both a rapid antigen test and a PCR test,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Rapid antigen tests have a certain degree of efficiency and they don't always show up and in this case it didn't.”
Anyone who's been in those areas in recent days will also be subject to stay-at-home orders, no matter where they are now.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said there had been a number of exposure sites in the Byron Bay area, including shops, restaurants and pubs in the Tweed area as well.
“I urge residents of that northern NSW area and Byron Bay and Tweed LGAs in particular to have a look out for exposure venues that are listed,” she said.
Authorities want people to come forward for testing in large numbers.
“So far, those areas have been kept relatively safe but we need the community to keep getting tested so that the public health team can be very, very certain of what we need to do at the expiration of those seven days,” Mr Hazzard said.
Mr Hazzard also urged residents to come forward for vaccination.
Fully vaccinated residents will be able to gather in groups of five outdoors despite the stay-at-home orders.Internet Explorer Channel Network