Stay-at-home orders will be lifted for 12 Local Government Areas including Bega Valley and Snowy Monaro from 1pm today (Thursday 16 September).
This means that shops, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and gyms can re-open but with some restrictions still in place.
Merimbula Chamber of Commerce president Nigel Ayling said he was relieved and happy particularly as it meant with the false positive results, the Bega Valley had seen no cases.
"From a chamber point of view, we're very happy to be opening again. The timing is good because we're coming out as we're going into the school holidays," Mr Ayling said.
"However they're still discouraging people from travelling but at least it means the locals can get back out and make the most of the holidays," he said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the 12 LGAs which are coming out of lockdown have been deemed low risk and have not recorded any COVID-19 cases for the past 14 days, but will continue to operate under some restrictions to ensure community safety.
"I encourage everyone in those 12 LGAs which are coming out of lockdown to enjoy their freedoms in a responsible and COVIDSafe way and I urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can, so you can continue to enjoy freedoms when NSW reaches the 70 per cent double dose target," Mr Barilaro said.
There have been three new cases reported in Southern NSW to 8pm last night. They include one new case in Yass which is under investigation, one new case is in Jerrabomberra linked to the ACT and one new case is in Queanbeyan is linked to the ACT
SNSWLHD confirmed, after further investigation, that two previously reported cases from Merimbula have now been confirmed as false positives and removed from the NSW total.
The following freedoms are available to all people in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have been lifted:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).
Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues includinghospitality, retail stores and gyms:
Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:
Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people.
Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship:
Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
Carpooling will be permitted.
Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.
For more information, please visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19