New freedoms for fully vaccinated residents of New South Wales could be announced as early as today despite the state recording its highest day of coronavirus cases.
The possible move to eased restrictions comes as two of Sydney's largest hospitals, both located in COVID-19 hotspots, prepare to move emergency patients to temporary make-shift units to cope with the surge in patients infected with the virus.
Businesses struggling with the extended lockdowns are also looking with hope as the Federal Government prepares to announce an additional support package today.
The NSW Government is also expected to reveal new emergency business support to save 10,000 jobs across the state.
The change will reportedly see large tourism, hospitality and recreation employers with an annual turnover of up to a billion dollars now allowed to access the JobSaver subsidy scheme.
Yesterday saw NSW record 919 infections, the highest daily total reported in Australia since the start of the pandemic.
The increase in numbers is causing additional pressure on the hospital system, with close to 80 per cent of the state's available intensive care beds now full.
Of those, 17 per cent are coronavirus patients.
From today, Westmead Hospital will open short-stay units in the emergency department to manage rising case numbers.
While at nearby Blacktown Hospital patients will be screened and swabbed in outdoor tents, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The change will help free up overloaded ambulances after some were told to take patients as far away as the north shore to cope with the demand.
The number of patients in ICU with coronavirus has risen in the past week from 77 to 113, with 40 on ventilators.
On Tuesday, Westmead announced it was reducing its intake of coronavirus patients and moving to emergency operations.