A pair of confirmed coronavirus cases in the New England have forced Armidale into a snap lockdown.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced on Saturday morning that the city had recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case since 2020.
As a result the city is set to go into COVID-19 lockdown at 5pm on Saturday evening, he said.
The lockdown follows days of concern about positive sewerage testing results in the city.
Health officials announced on Thursday that they were concerned the virus could be in Armidale.
Mr Hazzard said a young person had brought the virus into the community and apparently transmitted it to at least one other person.
"If I were living in that area I would actually not be going out of my house today," he said.
"I'd be staying home. I'd be making sure I was protecting myself and my family."
NSW Health said the two cases included a woman who was a close contact of a known case in the Newcastle area, who she had recently visited overnight, and a household contact of hers.
The Australian Capital Territory announced it would close its borders to visitors from the city on Friday, forcing the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to forgo returning to part of his electorate.
Unconfirmed reports of the lockdown started circulating on social media early on Saturday morning.
Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, contracted the virus in Sydney, but was released from quarantine in the state's capital after being ruled no longer infectious.
The lockdown applies only to residents of the Armidale Regional Council local government area, which includes Guyra. The stay-at-home order also applies to people who have been to the community since July 31, including that day.
The lockdown will last until 12.01am on Sunday August 15.
Statewide there were 319 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 8pm on Friday night.
There are now 13 cases confirmed in the Hunter New England Health area.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.