The time is almost upon us to be able to wine and dine at local pubs and clubs, with up to 50 people allowed in restaurants, pubs and cafes from Monday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Friday the "big and critical" step from June 1, but said strict rules would be in place for hospitality businesses.
Venues will still have to allow at least four square metres of space per person, bookings of more than 10 will be banned and patrons won't be allowed to stand.
For local hospitality venues, the announcement is the best news they've heard in months.
The Willawarrin Hotel was one venue in the Macleay to open its doors when the restrictive 10 person limit was announced on May 15. Owner Gordon Anderson said they have been busy since then, but are looking forward to having more customers from Monday.
"It has been a really big success for us over the past week and a half. I can understand bigger places not opening up for table service for a limited number of people, but for us it has been really busy," he said.
"Every Friday and Saturday night we've been booked out and have offered an earlier sitting for 10 people and then a later one as well.
"We're looking forward to Monday and have started preparing the tables and making sure the rules on social distancing are visible around the hotel."
Gordon said for the upriver community, who have experienced the devastating drought and bushfires, being able to get out and socialise is important.
"It really is a social thing. The hotel became a hub for the community and being able to have a beer with friends will make a big difference for people."
For Bellbrook, the announcement means the hard-hit community will also see their local hub open its doors.
"This is huge news for us, we've been through hell and it's been tough for the community," Bellbrook Hotel licensee Shirley Smart said.
"The pub is the main point for the local community and a lot of residents are itching to come back.
"We're just gearing up for it now and getting ready for Monday."
Many pubs, clubs and restaurants across the Macleay will be utilising the lifting of restrictions from Monday.
Colan Ryan from the Crescent Head Country Club said they are ready to open both of their restaurants to the public.
"It means we will be able to be open seven days a week and our hours will be close to what they were before COVID-19," he said.
The club recently opened their bistro on Friday and Saturday night for dinners restricted to 10 people at a time.
"We had two sittings of 10 people on both nights which was really good. I think people are happy to be out," Colan said.
"Because our venue is quite big, people will be able to spread out and follow social distancing restrictions easily."
Colan said with an increased number of patrons in the venue, good hygiene practices will be followed.
"There will be increased cleaning and good hygiene practices.
"Our staff are very keen to get back to work and the community is looking forward to getting out again."
Residents are reminded opening hours at venues may still be restricted, locals are encouraged to stay up to date through each venue's Facebook page or by contacting the establishment directly.