Curfews will be lifted tonight in local government areas of concern, including Bayside, Liverpool, Fairfield, Campbelltown and Georges River, but there are still no plans to lift other restrictions.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addressed today's NSW COVID-19 press conference for the second time this week to applaud the state for reaching the milestone of first-dose vaccination reaching 80 per cent today, and announce the end of the contentious curfew that has been in place from 9pm to 5am each day.
But she said while vaccination rates were improving and case numbers appeared to be stabilising, it was too soon to further relax greater COVID-19 restrictions in areas of concern.
Ms Berejiklian said lifting the curfew from tonight was a "whole of government" decision, which came after also taking the advice from police and health authorities.
However, she said they could not offer any other changes to the restrictions at this time, and implored everyone to keep "toeing the line".
She said while there had been some stabilisation in case numbers in recent days, it was too early to tell if they had peaked.
"We still have work to do," she said.
"I just advise everybody in those areas of concern to toe the line."
Ms Berejiklian said every decision made "is based on health advice".
"The stabilisation and decline in some areas of concern is pleasing and we are at a critical stage," she said.
"We want to see the continued stabilisation and the case numbers coming down over time, and that is why we have to hold the line."
She said health authorities were asked every day to "scrutinise the restrictions we have in place to see if areas can be taken out".
"But the best advice we have is it is too early and too risky to do anything further today," she said
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said health authorities were considering when they could ease restrictions in the areas of concern.
"We are looking ... as we see those case numbers come down at what additional restrictions can be eased," Dr Chant said.
She said while the areas of concern had achieved great first-dose vaccination rates, it was important for them to get the coverage that a second dose would provide.
"We are not out of the woods yet," she said.
"There are pleasing signs but we really need to drive those case numbers down."
Ms Berejiklian said there had been 1259 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night and 12 deaths.
According to NSW Health, one of the deaths was a woman in her 60s from south-eastern Sydney who died at home.
No other details were given.
The Leader has asked South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) for more information.
There are currently 1241 people with COVID-19 in hospital. Of those, 234 people are in intensive care, and 108 of those require ventilation.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.