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National News

NSW virus testing well below daily minimum

NSW health authorities have ramped up calls for for more people to come forward for COVID-19 testing and urged anyone diagnosed with the virus to be 100 per cent honest about their recent movements.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said testing had dipped well below the 20,000 daily minimum required - to just 15,802 tests reported to 8pm on Wednesday night.

"We really do need the entire community to be with us on this journey," he said on Thursday.

"COVID-19 is still amongst us. If you have ... any symptoms at all you must for your sake for the community's sake - go get tested," he said.

NSW recorded 11 new cases - five in hotel quarantine and four local cases that are linked to a known case or cluster, as well as two with no known source.

Three of the new locally acquired cases are linked to the Lakemba GP cluster, which has grown to 15.

One of the new mystery cases is a man in his 70s from Bargo, 100km southwest of Sydney, showing the virus had spread further than the hotspot clusters in Sydney's west and southwest.

Mr Hazzard said it made it difficult for contact tracers to shut down chains of transmission unless people were honest.

"You need to make sure you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and be very, very careful in what you're telling public health officials," he said.

"We are not interested in any of your personal activities, we are not interested in other legal issues that you might have been involved in."

A person in Shepparton, on the southern side of the border bubble had slowed contact tracing down there, putting that community on high alert, he said.

On Wednesday Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had changed her mind about increasing the capacity increase of small hospitality venues and weddings but other restrictions would be eased on Friday.

Up to 500 people will be allowed to attend open-air concerts, so long as they stay seated and remain four metres apart.

Restrictions for outdoor dining venues will also be relaxed, allowing one patron per two square metres, as long as venues use an electronic QR code to record patrons' contact details.

She warned the state was on the cusp of a fresh outbreak, similar to the one that began in March at a southwestern Sydney hotel and spawned a wave of infections.

The latest COVID-19 alerts in force included a swathe of venues in Sydney's west and southwest, including a Westfield shopping centre, two tutoring sites and childcare centres.

© AAP 2020