Scott Morrison has thrown an economic lifeline to Sydney residents and business owners hit by coronavirus lockdowns in NSW.
Taxpayers will shell out about $1.5 billion a fortnight in direct payments to help businesses and workers survive.
Businesses hit by the Greater Sydney restrictions will be offered weekly payments of between $1500 and $10,000.
They will have to show a 30 per cent fall in turnover and cannot sack their staff.
Sole traders will be given $1000 a week, while workers will also receive increased support.
Employees who have lost at least 20 hours of work a week will be given $600, while staff who have lost between eight and 20 hours will get $375.
"This package will continue for as long as the lockdown continues," Mr Morrison told the Seven Network on Wednesday.
The prime minister dismissed "nonsense" suggestions from the Victorian government he was giving NSW preferential treatment after forcing their state to beg for scraps.
"When Victoria needed the Commonwealth, we were there. And when NSW needed the Commonwealth, we are here again. And we'll continue to be there."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is from Victoria, described the state government as petulant and childish.
But shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said Victorians had every right to be filthy after being abandoned in their hour of need.
Unions are concerned the scheme does not do enough to support workers and is open to rorting by unscrupulous employers.
Businesses fear they may not be able to navigate the strings attached.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said residents in southwest Sydney were struggling and needed support.
"People are doing it really tough," he told the ABC.
"I had a small business owner on the phone to me last week crying, literally, because he employs 20 people, he's built up this business over six or seven years, and he just was distraught at the idea of laying people off.
"I haven't had the opportunity to speak to him since this package has been announced, but I certainly hope it not only enables his business to survive, but enables him to keep on those employees."
Australia's expert panel on vaccines has reviewed its advice in response to the Sydney outbreak.
People living in outbreak areas have been advised to cut the gap between their first and second doses of AstraZeneca.
The recommended wait time between doses has been reduced from 12 weeks to between four and eight.
Pfizer remains the preferred vaccine for people under the age of 60, because of concerns about rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca.
But people aged under 60 living in outbreak areas have been advised to consider getting AstraZeneca if Pfizer is unavailable.
Several weeks ago, the prime minister highlighted a path for anyone aged over 18 to receive AstraZeneca after talking to their doctor.
He agreed to cover the cost of the consultation and provide doctors indemnity cover.
At least 20,000 people aged under 40 have since come forward to receive their jabs.
Australian Associated Press