WILL the New England emerge from lockdown at the end of the week?
At a press briefing last week, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he felt confident the lockdown in regional NSW would be lifted as scheduled.
The extended regional NSW lockdown is due to run to August 28.
"I'll say this very clearly - next Saturday our intention is to lift the restrictions in regional and rural NSW," he told regional journalists at the COVID update.
"That's almost a blunt commitment.
"And we'll do that on the things I spoke about - are there any active cases in that LGA? Are there fragments in the sewage? Are you adjoining another LGA that has high case numbers?
"If you tick any of those boxes you won't be coming out but we will be looking at an LGA-approach.
"And I'm confident as of next Saturday, or the following Monday, children will be resuming school in regional rural NSW as normal."
Armidale no longer has any active cases, and traces in the sewage have decreased to a low level, while Inverell has had no cases since last year.
Mr Barilaro acknowledged there was frustration in regions without active cases.
"I know there's frustration. I know there are people frustrated saying 'we have no cases here'," he said.
"I wish no cases on any part of the regions. But in part it's because of these lockdowns that you have no cases."
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