People in western NSW can go above and beyond the government rules to defend themselves from COVID as the state emerges from lockdown, the peak body for rural doctors says.
Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) chief executive officer Peta Rutherford said it was critical to comply with the official requirements, but it did not stop individuals from taking additional precautions.
"Have your masks at the ready, and if you can't social distance, pop the mask on," she said.
Mrs Rutherford was speaking as NSW was about to enter the first of three phases of the government's road map to recovery. On Monday restrictions eased after the state met a 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target.
The NSW government extended the ban on travel between Greater Sydney and regional areas on Friday, permitting it to take place from November 1.
Mrs Rutherford said earlier this month members were "a little bit nervous" about people from outside their communities coming in, and "potentially bringing COVID into the community".
As well as reiterating the importance of vaccination, the CEO urged people to take caution.
"It's really concerning when we watch things like the football grand finals and things like that and how many people, particularly at the NRL grand final are sitting in the crowd without a mask on," she said.
"Occasionally we see these cases emerge where people say 'we don't know...' We don't necessarily know who you're sitting next to, and where they've been and what they've done, and who they've been in contact with and through no fault of their own - they may not even know they've got it.
"There's all these risks now that we have, so I think we have to go back to all those early things that we've had drilled into us, right from the start of the pandemic, and more as we've gone through.
"Social distancing, making sure you're not coughing into your hand... that elbow cough or sneeze is critical.
"Have a mask at the ready, constantly, and if you can't socially distance you really need to think about wearing a mask, and of course, the smallest symptoms - get tested."