Venues across New South Wales have opened their doors for the first time in four months, welcoming back patrons who are double vaccinated.

And while the combined NSW Service and MyGov app, to show people are checked-in and vaccinated is not yet ready, Digital and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello encouraged people to have their vaccination status ready to go.

“There are already three ways to get a copy of your vaccine certificate, through the Express Plus Medicare app, the digital wallet on their phone or a paper certificate from Services Australia,” he said.

“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 which is exciting. Until then, please ensure you have your proof of vaccination ready.

“The nsw.gov.au website has all the materials needed to help businesses re-open safely and we have proactively sent out information packs to help make the transition as easy as possible.”

Last week The Shout published an article detailing the Government’s guidance for businesses to reopen.

Publican Craig Laundy, speaking yesterday, had a helpful tip for patrons to speed up the check-in process.

He said: “Thank you so much for all the work you have done to get us to this point. This next week is going to be a little clunky, we are going to have to rely on the MyGov app, it’s going to be people keen to get in, dealing with staff, making sure that the laws are followed. I echo the comments of others [and ask people to] be patient, calm and let us deal with it.

“I will say there is one practical thing you can do, and that is if you do have the MyGov app on your phone, get to your vaccination status, take a screenshot of it and make it your wallpaper on your locked phone. Then you can just come up and show it to our staff on the front door and it will be a far quicker process for us to get you in and get you seated and enjoying things.

“But it’s a really exciting time. Tomorrow or family’s business has a couple of thousand people go back to work, that haven’t been working for four months. We’re all excited but we do want you to come back, enjoy yourselves but do so responsibly and work with us to make sure that we can make experience as pleasurable as possible.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said today’s milestone was only possible thanks to the efforts of so many people embracing the public health messages.

“The people of NSW have earned this moment setting a cracking pace in getting the jab to protect our communities and businesses who have had such a tough time these past few months,” the Premier said.

“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.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the changes would be welcomed from Bondi to Broken Hill.

“So many people like me are keen to get back to the pub, enjoy a meal at their local cafe and inject some money back into regional economies.

“It won’t be long before we see the bush buzzing again and the main streets of regional towns packed with activity as businesses re-open and restrictions start to ease.”

A number of venues opened at 12.01am today, with others waiting until later in the day and small bars across the state finally re-opening their doors this evening.

Venues are only opened to those who are double-vaccinated, so if you are not booked in for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can book an appointment here.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of TheShout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both TheShout and Bars and Clubs.

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