The NSW government has loosened COVID-19 restrictions as the state reports only two new virus cases.

The changes will be implemented from Friday, allowing up to two adults and their dependent children to visit another household anywhere across the state.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the changes, announced earlier this week, were an effort to reduce social isolation and improve mental health.

“It extends the existing guidelines of being able to leave home for ‘care or medical purposes’,” she said in a statement.

Social distancing must still be maintained when visiting another household as well as extra hygiene precautions, particularly when visiting people aged over 70 or those with underlying health conditions Ms Berejiklian added.

“Please do this responsibly,” she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

“We don’t want to see a huge spike in cases which makes the situation unmanageable and us having to revert back to what April looked like.”

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The state government also announced some retail business may choose to re-open in May while adhering to social distancing and hygiene requirements.

NSW has recorded just two new COVID-19 cases on Thursday but the state’s chief health officer says any further easing of restrictions will depend on an increase in testing numbers and good community behaviour.

Almost 3020 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been found in NSW, after Anglicare’s Newmarch House aged-care facility reported three more residents tested positive on Thursday.

There are currently 117 virus cases being treated by NSW Health, including 15 people in intensive care with 13 of those requiring ventilators. The state’s death total remains at 42.

AAP.

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