BATHURST can see the light at the end of the tunnel after eight weeks in lockdown.
From today (Monday) businesses and community facilities are able to start reopening as NSW learns to live with COVID-19.
Deputy premier and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said it will be a great day for people who are fully vaccinated.
"For many people it is known as Freedom Day. It's the day that people have been looking forward to, people being able to get out, catch up with family and friends, people getting back to work, and getting businesses to open their doors. It has been an important milestone to reach," he said.
"It has been tough and I've got to thank the community for the incredible work they have done over the past number of months in actually following the stay at home orders to keep our community safe, and all those people who have come forward and got vaccinated has been important as well."
However, he warned people should not relax just yet.
"I think we all still have to be mindful. This is a phased approach and [Monday] is the first step forward as part of our roadmap to recovery, so it's important that people don't become complacent, they don't start to forget about the rules that are in place when we hit 70 per cent," he said.
"There's another set of rules when we get 80 per cent and even another set of rules once we hit December 1, so we can't become complacent and think we're going back to where things were several years ago.
"We need to make sure that we do it gradually, we need to make sure we do it responsibly and we need to make sure that we do it with the intention to protect our communities."
Under the rules, masks are still required for all staff and customers in all indoor settings, but are no longer required in outdoor settings.
People must use the COVID Safe check-ins and provide proof of vaccination.
Up to 10 visitors, not including children under 12 years of age, are permitted in homes.
People must still monitor for COVID symptoms and get tested if they experience any, no matter how mild.
"We still need to make sure people are getting tested if there is flu-like symptoms. We all have a responsibility to protect our family, our friends, our loved ones, and those who are vulnerable in the community," Mr Toole said.
"We will still have testing facilities available in the community."
Testing is available at Bathurst Hospital, the Bathurst Respiratory Clinic, and in a drive-through format at Mount Panorama.
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