Hairdressers, beauticians and dress hire businesses in the Illawarra are expecting to be busy for "freedom day" on Monday.
Among those predicting a carefully managed, COVID-safe rush among the fully vaccinated is Michelle Taylor, of Get Dressed Hire in Addison Street, Shellharbour.
Despite closing the doors in June, Ms Taylor has still been able to post dress hire orders to other parts of Australia, which has helped keep the business going. But as lockdowns spread through NSW and Victoria, there were many cancellations.
But it didn't stop her from purchasing new season fashion and, with "freedom day" upon us, the interest in hiring fashion has returned.
"My phone has been running hot," she said.
"Literally people have been telling me they are going to be here as soon as I open the doors at 10am. It is going to be very busy on Monday.
"A lot of people are booking locally for Melbourne Cup at venues like Pepe's and LevelOne.
"And a lot of people are coming back for rescheduled weddings, birthday parties and christenings.
"People are just really keen to get out and about again and get on with their lives now it's spring.
"I think it's good for us mentally to start planning to get out and see people again. I know I'm looking forward to have that interaction with customers as well."
Meantime, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said all school students will now return to school by October 25 with the first students in kindergarten, year one and year 12 returning on October 18.
Mr Perrottet said when NSW reaches 80 per cent double vaccination there will no longer be a requirement to wear masks in an office. He also announced exemptions on the cap for major outdoor events will be granted for some venues.
"With COVID safe plans venues can apply through NSW Health and the health minister will look through those," he said.
Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said NSW Health would now work on creating a COVID safe plan for each venue rather than for each individual event that takes place at a venue.
"There will be a COVID safe plan for the venue based on its own operating model," Mr Ayres said.
The NSW Government announced that regional workers outside Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Blue Mountains will be able to return to work if they have had one dose of a COVID vaccine.
They will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second.
Digital and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello encouraged people to have their vaccination status ready. He said there were three ways to get a copy of a vaccine certificate ready to go. Through the Express Plus Medicare app, the digital wallet on mobile phones or a paper certificate from Services Australia.
"We have successfully started testing the integration of the vaccine certificate into the ServiceNSW app and are expanding the pilot into the regions this week," Mr Dominello said.