With the festive season just around the corner, Wagga business owners are welcoming the anticipated ease of COVID-19 restrictions set for December 15, or when the state reaches a 95 per cent double vaccination rate.
Currently, NSW is sitting at a double vaccination rate of 92.4 per cent with just over two weeks to go until the December benchmark.
The easing of restrictions means COVID safety plans will be optional for businesses.
While, QR code check-ins will only be required for high-risk venues, including hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, and funerals or memorial services personal services such as hairdressers and beauty salons.
Proof of vaccination will also no longer be required for most activities
The face mask mandate will also ease significantly, with masks to be only needed when on public transport and planes, at airports and for indoor hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated.
Joseph Kirk, the manager at Sporties, said he is particularly excited for patrons and staff members to be able to ditch the face masks.
"I'm looking forward to being able to be mask-less pending the vaccination status. It will make for a pretty good Christmas," he said.
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Similarly, Heart Attacks Diner's Lainie Flynn won't be sad to see the masks go.
"It has been challenging having to wear face masks as it really does cause issues with customers ordering, [such as] understanding and hearing the customer through a mask," she said.
"I am very much looking forward to operating without masks as I have been confused with why the front of house staff have been made to continue to wear masks while back of the house staff haven't for some time and customers take them off as soon as they sit down, so who has it really been being protecting?"
But when it comes to businesses opting to ditch their safety COVID-19 plans all together ahead of Christmas, some are concerned it may be too soon as NSW daily COVID-19 cases remain within the hundreds.
Bryce Hagen from Get Knotted, who has been trading face-to-face in the recent event of opening a pop-up store in the Marketplace, said he personally, will opt towards keeping some measures in place.
"I feel that it can be quite worrying when I'm working as I might have to attend to probably 80 to 100 customers per day," he said.
"If they did ease restrictions, I would personally put some measures in place to keep me safe, especially hearing in recent news about the new strain of COVID."
On the contrary, the ease of restrictions, specifically that of the NSW Government face mask mandate, comes as a relief.
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