BUSINESS NSW supports the urgent return of business in a COVID-safe environment with enhanced operating conditions for fully vaccinated staff and customers.
On Monday, Deputy Premier John Barilaro revealed the first restrictions likely to ease as the vaccination rate climbs.
Outdoor dining and retail could re-open by mid-October, he said, but the caveat was that the area must be a declared low risk zone with a vaccination rate of 70 per cent.
The lockdown stay-at-home orders remain in place on the Mid North Coast, and across regional NSW, until September 10 when they will be reviewed.
Mr Barilaro has speculated that the Mid and North Coast could be two areas to come out of lockdown then.
"The current COVID-19 lockdown is having a significant and damaging impact on our economy, on our community's mental health and on livelihoods," local Business NSW regional manager Kellon Beard said.
"It is now time for us to start the planning for re-opening parts of the economy in a COVID-safe way, starting with people who are fully vaccinated.
"We have seen significant increases in vaccination rates across the State. Passing the six million mark last week was a huge milestone and we congratulate the NSW community for their work in driving up these numbers.
"Re-opening low risk businesses, particularly those that are primarily based outdoors, such as outdoor personal trainers or hospitality venues with outdoor seating, to people who are fully vaccinated should be a priority. This is particularly relevant on the Mid North Coast, where hospitality plays such a major part of our economy."
Mr Beard said the Government needs to provide clear guidance and a roadmap for these industries so they can start to plan their re-opening and have all necessary controls in place from day one.
"Of course, those businesses must continue to operate in a COVID-safe way, combining vaccination with other COVID controls such as QR code registration, face masks and social distancing," he said.
"We also need to make it easier for businesses to prioritise safety by having a straightforward method for customers and staff to prove their vaccination status.
"Business NSW acknowledges this will be an evolving environment for business and customers as the virus changes, and as vaccines and booster programs are implemented and broader public policy responses are improved.
"But we need to consider how we live with the virus and there should be incentives and encouragement for people to get vaccinated.
"In learning to live with this virus it is critical that the Government starts to allow low risk businesses to reopen for vaccinated people in a COVID-safe way."
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