Gladys Berejiklian wasn't keen on the term "freedom day", NSW's new Premier Dominic Perrottet didn't mind it - but one thing was for certain on Monday, fully vaccinated residents of the Illawarra exercised their freedoms at pubs, hair and beauty salons - and Kmart.
A long line of thirsty patrons were seen outside the Wollongong Steelers Club eagerly awaiting the doors to open at 12.01am.
Later that morning Bulli's Heritage Hotel threw open the doors at 6am welcoming people in with a pint with bacon and eggs.
Kmart stores in Figtree and Shellharbour had lines of people waiting to show their vaccination status and peruse the aisles.
After months of no work, Warilla barber Michael Paule was run off his feet on Monday with people lining up at his door two hours before opening.
By 9.45am he'd completed 17 hair cuts with another 18 people waiting, and even more he had told to come back after lunch.
"I've got all my pensioners coming in this morning, all my favourites, they're just flocking in," Mr Paule said. "They're like family ... it's a good thing for them, gets them out of the house, good for the soul."
Greg Porter had been visiting Pauley's Barber Shop every three weeks for the last 28 years, so prioritised getting a haircut on Monday.
Mr Porter decided to arrive an hour before opening to the George Street store only to find many others already had the same idea.
"I got there just after 7.30am, so I went away and came back because there were so many people," he said.
By the time it was Mr Porter's turn to sit in the chair, the feeling of slicing off 106 days of hair growth felt "relieving", he said.
His next item on the to-do list is to go to Minnamurra for a swim, but while it's only a 15 minute drive for the Warilla resident the trip is classed as travelling to a "regional" area so it will be put aside until the state reaches 80 per cent double vaccinations in a couple of weeks and regional travel is allowed.
For Samantha Byrne, the first thing she was desperate to do on Monday was get a manicure and pedicure at Global Beauty Nails and Piercings.
"I don't care about anything else, that's all I wanted to do," she said, adding she'd been heading to nail salons regularly for 25 years.
Mrs Byrne said she didn't feel apprehensive about going somewhere where there would be lots of people as she was "double jabbed and a nurse".
Her other priority for Monday's outing was to wander the isles of Kmart to see what bargains she could find.
The Premier said the milestone of reopening many businesses was only possible thanks to the efforts of NSW residents embracing the public health messages.
"Today is just a taste of the freedoms to come with the State on track to pass the 80 per cent double vaccination mark within weeks, and if we keep on going, we'll ensure lockdowns become a thing of the past," said Mr Perrottet.
"Let's not get caught into semantics about how we want to classify the day. What is most important is for the first time in a long time, people are getting the opportunity to go back to work."
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