Camden Haven businesses are celebrating the announced release of COVID lockdown on Saturday, September 11 after more than a month of restricted trade.
Port Macquarie-Hastings, the Camden Haven, Kempsey-Macleay and north to Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast will emerge from COVID lockdown at 12:01am on Saturday, September 11.
Masks stay on indoors and community sport remains off limits but venues are set to enjoy new freedoms.
Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside. Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
Laurieton restaurant partner Shane Fisher said the Delizioso Restaurant has already begun receiving bookings from diners for the first day of trade on Saturday.
"We have been shut to the public for about four weeks now, but this announcement is massive for us and members of the public," Mr Fisher said.
"We are down more than half in terms of turnover despite doing takeaways. It has knocked us around and our staff lost hours.
"It's exciting and good to be back. We're taking bookings already and we're half full for the first day back within a couple of hours of the announcement.
Mr Fisher said the proposed idea of extra freedoms for vaccinated people was not of concern.
Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people. Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Retail store manager Rob Corry, from Camden Haven Auto Parts, said the announcement couldn't have come at a better time.
"It's good to get the business back on track again. We have been doing all our business over the phone at the moment," Mr Corry said.
"You can see that the everyone has been hurting around town because each business feeds off another. Being open is better for the whole economy of the town.
"I think we would be happy (as a retailer) to police a COVID passport type scenario, it's a bit of a pain but I think we will eventually need to do that to get businesses going again."
Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports. Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors. Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.
Pomegranate K Clothing owner Chrissy Bean said the store has been changed permanently during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"We have repainted, restocked and got a new online system to create a real reopening feeling for the public. We're excited and we're prepared to bounce back," Mrs Bean said.
"Everyone has had to change to adjust to the situation over the last two years. We have increased our floor space to cater to the guidelines and had to restructure our entire business.
"It's been a big adjustment but anything that's new is confronting. It was a step we had to take and one that we had been delaying for a long time."