REGIONAL areas could see a release from COVID-19 restrictions earlier as business and community leaders push to be treated on a postcode-by-postcode basis.
Regional areas are copping the brunt of city outbreaks according to Business NSW regional manager Joe Townsend, who has backed calls for the state and federal governments to ease restrictions early in areas with a low infection rate.
"The regions shouldn't be treated the same as Sydney; why is Bingara treated the same as Bondi when we've had no cases in Bingara?" he said.
"It's critical at the moment given the population size we have, we have the opportunity to have restrictions eased sooner rather than later."
Tamworth has had no new cases for a month and more than 3000 people have been tested at the Tamworth hospital drive-through clinic in the last three weeks.
A release from coronavirus restrictions postcode-by-postcode would have the support of Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray.
With the economy still wearing the weight of a prolonged drought, a return to normal would be a lifeline for local business, he said.
"We are very vulnerable now in our economy and we really, really need people to spend locally and support those local businesses where they can," he said.
"I think it's [postcode release] something we need to consider, I'm not expert enough in the health-related implications but certainly for our region I would love to see us have some more carefully constructed plans to crank our economy up."
It's a model that is already being trialled in outback Queensland with dining-in allowed for up to 20 guests at at restaurants, clubs and pubs, and recreational travel up to 500 kilometres in the outback for those who live in the outback.
A regional ease in restrictions would have to follow the advice of national and state leaders, Cr Murray said, as it could cause some confusion in communities.
"Full marks to the community for all they have done to try and isolate that [COVID-19], we're certainly getting lots of expert advice from our health leaders that we're still vulnerable to another spike," he said.
"I think there's probably a fairly strong case but one of the challenges is where do you draw the line?
"If that's a statistics-based thing with a spike in one area, it could become confusing quite quickly ... it will always be difficult to break it down to regions."