"Based on those numbers, we can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better," New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
New South Wales will increase its police presence in eight Western Sydney local government areas (LGAs) of concern to monitor compliance and crack down on uncooperative businesses as the state records 239 new cases of community transmission - the highest daily total in this latest outbreak and to date in 2021 for any state.
The eight LGAs of concern (Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown) are now under new rules that will see masks mandatory everywhere outside of the house, and the imposition of a 5km travel limit.
It is part of the state's latest crackdown on the areas of concern, with compliance to be monitored by "thousands" of additional police which will be deployed in the LGAs today and given new powers to close a worksite or business if health orders are flouted.
"The powers particularly will focus on those people who are not doing the right thing," NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
"Many will do the right thing - they will follow the health advice. They shouldn't be punished for the few who are doing the wrong thing."
In addition, the fine for not wearing a mask will be increased from $200 to $500 to allow for that extra level of compliance and ensure another layer of deterrence to those who would do the wrong thing.
Of today's 239 new COVID-19 cases, 88 were infectious in the community for all of part of their infectious period, and the isolation status of 70 cases remains under investigation.
"Most of these transmissions are occurring amongst households and in workplaces, but also in health settings," Premier Berejiklian said.
"If you are going to a pharmacist or GP, make sure you don't have symptoms. Make sure that you're asking for medical help from home."
Updated at 11.28am AEST on 29 July 2021.
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