The NSW premier has flagged there could be an increase in people allowed to dine in restaurants and cafes in the coming weeks as the government works to boost the economy after its battering by COVID-19.
Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday said her government has been working with the industry on increasing patronage in restaurants and cafes in June and July.
"The government will have more to say in the very near future about what restaurants and cafes will look like in June and July," she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
Currently, dining venues can allow up to 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing, including alcohol table service with a meal at NSW pubs and clubs.
Increasing patronage in June would align with the easing of regional travel restrictions across the state and the opening of museums, galleries and libraries from June 1.
The premier has also flagged plans to allow international students back into NSW, potentially through the hotel quarantine system in place for Australians returning home.
This would help support regional towns and universities relying on the sector for economic activity and employment, she added.
"We have demonstrated our capacity to process people in quarantine," Ms Berejiklian said.
"It's opportune for us to consider when we can safely welcome back foreign students."
The premier noted this wouldn't be happening until after July and discussions are still underway with the federal government.
Meanwhile, former NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin is seeking legal advice to appeal the fine he received for breaching COVID-19 health orders by staying at his Central Coast holiday home when coronavirus restrictions were in place, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.
Mr Harwin resigned in April as a state government minister after it was revealed he had decamped from his primary residence in Sydney's Elizabeth Bay to his Pearl Beach holiday home.
He was fined $1000 by NSW Police for acting "in contravention of a current ministerial direction under the Public Health Act".
At the time, the Liberal MP argued he relocated in mid-March before the order was made.
It's been confirmed that Mr Harwin is appealing the fine, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.
It comes as government whip Adam Crouch has written to the Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal to ask for a freeze on pay rises for NSW MPs, The SMH reported on Thursday.
"(The) NSW government does not support any increase to the basic salary and additional entitlements of Members of Parliament for the financial year 2020-21," Mr Crouch says in the letter dated May 21.
"COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our society and affected every sector and industry.
"Of the 4.1 million people employed in NSW, 90 per cent are employed in the private sector and many of these people are facing the prospect of massive pay cuts and job losses."
Should the tribunal recommend increases, government MPs would be given instructions "by the Premier, Deputy Premier and Treasurer" to reject it, the letter reportedly says.
NSW on Thursday reported two new COVID-19 cases from more than 9700 tests.
Three people are in intensive care.
One of the new cases was a student from Saint Ignatius' College in Riverview and another is a person who acquired the infection in Victoria.
The premier on Thursday also defended her calls for other states to re-open their borders, insisting it's in the best interests for Australia.
"This isn't personal," she said.
"This is about doing what we believe is in the best interest of our citizens."
Australian Associated Press