Rules for visiting NSW hospitals will be eased after the state reported another 24 COVID-19 deaths and 10,130 infections.
The number of people in hospital with the virus has dropped by 111 to to 1795.
Some 121 people remain in intensive care – that’s down by 11 from the previous day.
Premier Dominic Perrottet says hospital visitation rules will be tweaked soon after a backlash from families denied the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones.
He has apologised on behalf of the state and promised to announce changes on Thursday.
The protocols were intended to strike a “difficult balance” between limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the hospital system and making sure family support was available to those gravely ill and dying, he said.
“I know we need to be cautious, but my view is compassion overrides caution in these instances,” Mr Perrottet told reporters on Wednesday.
The premier will agitate for more changes in policy at national cabinet on Thursday, with discussion on including boosters as part of a full COVID-19 vaccination course and the return of cruising on the agenda.
Mr Perrottet has also promised to prioritise the resumption of non-urgent elective surgery in Sydney’s public hospitals.
Elective surgeries resumed in private hospitals and non-metropolitan public hospitals on Monday, with significant backlogs that need to be cleared for people who have been waiting more than a year in some cases for life changing surgery.
“We have people that are showing immense, enormous patience in terms of having that surgery held off,” Mr Perrottet said on Wednesday.
With children now returned to classrooms, the premier said elective surgery resumption was his new focus, while other restrictions could wait.
“Let’s be fair, those other restrictions in place aren’t that substantive,” Mr Perrottet said.
“They’re not. There’s a two square metre rule, there’s no singing or dancing and there’s face masks indoors … they’re proportionate to the situation.”
Those restrictions were extended to February 27 in late January and a decision will be made on whether to continue them beyond that date as it approaches.
Almost half of the eligible population has received a booster shot as of Wednesday, and 44.2 per cent of primary school-age children have received their first shot.