The NSW premier will urge the federal government to bring forward the timeline for booster shots by a month, as he continues to resist calls to reinstate mask mandates.
"The number one thing we can do right now is look after each other, look out for each other, treat everyone with kindness and respect," Dominic Perrottet told reporters on Tuesday.
He again recommended that people wear masks where they are not able to socially distance.
NSW broke another national record on Tuesday after more than 3000 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in a single day.
There were 3057 cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday - 556 more than the previous day - from 136,972 tests.
The premier will raise the issue of the booster shot interval at a meeting of national cabinet on Wednesday.
Currently, boosters are due five months after a second dose, but NSW wants that moved forward to four months at least.
Mr Perrottet said booster shots were key and encouraged anyone eligible to go and get one.
Close to 40 venues will remain open for booster shots over the holiday period, he said.
The premier acknowledged the long wait times for PCR tests in the days leading up to Christmas, with many anxious to get the all clear to safely attend yuletide celebrations.
"I know it's been a challenge, I know there are queues, that is unfortunately the way when there's 140,000 tests occurring every single day," he said.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant is urging people not to join the long testing queues unless they have COVID symptoms or have been instructed to do so by authorities.
If asymptomatic people want to ensure they were COVID free before attending social functions they should use a shop-bought rapid antigen test, she said.
However, there are widespread shortages of the home testing kits as people rush to buy stocks before Christmas.
Mr Perrottet said he'd raise that issue at national cabinet as well.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said much of the testing pressure was coming from "tourism testing" - where a negative test is a prerequisite to enter a different state.
Mr Hazzard is speaking to Queensland and Victorian representatives to see if that issue can be addressed.
"Until we get there, we've really just got to recognise that we're going to be under that pressure ... And I will just counsel people to be very, very patient," he said.
Tuesday's figures showed 284 COVID-19 patients in hospital - up from 261 - and 39 in ICU, with 11 ventilated.
Two people died from the virus.
Mr Perrottet said it was to be expected that hospitalisations and ICU numbers would increase as case numbers ascend.
"It will be tough, but I believe we are strong enough as we've got through every other challenge over the last close to two years," he said.
Newcastle remains the epicentre of the state's outbreak, with 5169 active cases now in the Hunter region and 820 new infections.
The NSW vaccination rates remain the same with 94.9 per cent of people aged 16 and older having had one dose, while 93.4 per cent of people are fully jabbed.
Some 81.4 per cent of people aged 12-15 have had one dose of a vaccine and 78.1 per cent have had both doses.
Fully vaccinated overseas travellers entering NSW no longer have to isolate for 72 hours.
Overseas arrivals to Sydney will have to get a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours and isolate at home until they return a negative result.
Australian Associated Press
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