Face masks will be made mandatory outdoors in eight Western Sydney hotspot areas after NSW recorded 239 new COVID-19 cases in the community overnight.

From 11:59pm on Friday, face masks will be mandatory outdoors in the local government areas (LGAs) of Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, George’s River, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Blacktown.

“If you’re in a local government area of concern – and at the moment there are eight of them – you need to make sure you wear a mask now at all times,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at the daily press conference on Thursday morning.

“If you step foot outside your household, you need to wear a mask at all times. It doesn’t matter where it is.

“We’re seeing too much evidence of people who are not wearing masks when they need to, or if they are outdoors, they’re coming into contact with other people and not having a mask.”

People in these eight LGAs will only be allowed to move within a 5km radius from their home, no matter what the reason is.

It was also announced that those LGAs will be targeted with thousands of extra police officers to enforce the heightened restrictions.

“We know that the numbers are too high today,” Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

These new restrictions won’t apply to the rest of Sydney, with Berejiklian saying the targeted rules were about “finding the right balance with keeping society going, encourage positive mental and physical health, and focusing on compliance where the major problems are.”

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant once again urged Sydneysiders to get vaccinated as soon as possible after two more COVID-related deaths were announced overnight.

“I don’t think you need more evidence that vaccines will save lives and COVID will kill. So please get vaccinated,” she said.

More to come.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images