City economy

Welcoming customers back: what to expect with restrictions easing

We’re here to support businesses in our area reopen safely.

Businesses reopening

Shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers are some of the businesses welcoming fully vaccinated customers back from Monday 11 October.

There’s a lot of detail businesses need to know to reopen safely and comply with changing public health orders.

Covid-safety plan

Your Covid-safety plan will need to be updated before reopening.

Proof of vaccination – customers

Businesses must support public health orders that require proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter a premise.

Checking vaccination status of employees, customers and visitors is the responsibility of each business. See more information for businesses around options for customers to provide proof of vaccination.

Authorised officers will monitor businesses reopening, particularly those that have vaccination requirements, for example hospitality, retail, gyms and hair and beauty salons.

Penalties may apply for individuals and businesses who don’t comply.

Proof of vaccination – employees

Before you reopen, you’ll need to know your employee vaccination requirements under the public health orders. You’re responsible for ensuring your employees get vaccinated if required.

Find guidance around vaccination requirements and your employees.

Signs and other communications

To help guide customers, you’re encouraged to have posters outlining vaccination requirements.

You should make sure your Service NSW QR codes are clearly visible. Businesses – no matter what size – have contact tracing obligations.

You could also remind customers of vaccination requirements in marketing materials and when taking and confirming bookings.

Access tools and resources and find out more about reopening in a Covid-safe way and new compliance regulations on the Service NSW website.

Covid-19 economic support measures extended

There’s NSW Government funding for businesses available. This includes grants and fee waivers.

Other support available includes tax deferrals, support for commercial, retail and residential landlords and the extension to Covid-19 micro-business grant.

Outdoor dining and entertainment opportunities

As restrictions ease, we’re committed to welcoming people back safely while supporting the financial recovery of our city’s businesses.

If you run a cafe, restaurant, bar or pub operating in our area, we’ve made planning regulation changes to make doing business easier post-lockdown.

Changes include increased trading hours for some retailers, and expanding customer capacity through our footway dining permits.

To help inject more energy and atmosphere back into the city centre, businesses with outdoor dining areas can now apply for approval to host entertainment.

Working together as our city reawakens

As restrictions ease and the city welcomes back locals, workers and visitors, it's inevitable the hustle and bustle of city life will return.

Changes like new outdoor dining areas can often lead to increased noise complaints. We encourage you to proactively engage neighbours before you run into issues. Find out more about our approach to managing noise complaints and the temporary measures in place to make doing business easier and safer after lockdown.

If you need help, or a complaint has been made against your business, call our business concierge on 02 9265 9333 Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm, or email

Published 12 October 2021, updated 14 February 2024