Welcome to a new month and some changes that show there is some ground being gained in the fight to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Thank you for being responsible with the restrictions on our movements and as a result there is some reward with an easing on restrictions, there is also changes to how our schools and retail outlets will look for the month of May.
There will be three key changes that will take effect across the region this month:
1. Up to two adults and their dependent children will be allowed to visit another household.
2. We will see a staggered return of face-to-face teaching from 11 May.
3. The retail sector is being encouraged to re-open It is important these shops maintain social distancing and hygiene requirements.
One of our great strengths here in the regions is our sense of community. Chatting over the fence or in the street to keep an eye on friends and acquaintances.
But while this change allows guidelines of being able to leave home for 'care or medical purposes' we must remain cautious and aware.
The last thing any of us want to see is a spike in cases.
Earlier this week, COVID-19 testing came online for people who made an appointment and attended the drive-through facility at Tamworth hospital.
Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms anywhere in the region can come forward for testing and by calling 1800 881 568 you can book an appointment for a check.
The Tamworth hospital clinic has been extended to next week for more testing to occur.
With the relaxation of the restriction rules, there is no limit on how far you can travel within NSW so long as you respect the social distancing rules and the reason is consistent with one of the four categories for leaving home.
It is important when visiting another household social distancing is maintained and extra hygiene precautions are taken.
If you are visiting those aged over 70 or those with underlying health conditions we are urging you to be extra vigilant with social distancing and hygiene measures.
Please don't visit anyone or accept visitors if you or they are unwell. The two-person gathering limit still applies to public places.
For the latest information on COVID-19 please go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19
That's why my Facebook page is being constantly updated - kevinandersonmp - and my office is open and answering your calls 6766 1422.
There are also 24-hour assistance lines in place to protect our communities. If you need assistance at any time call 13 77 88.
Thank you for what you are doing - stay safe, stay well, please be responsible and stay connected.
Kevin Anderson is the state Member for Tamworth.
Mr Anderson is also the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Racing in the Berejiklian Government