FRIDAY’s sunny weather welcomed locals who surfaced after weeks of social distancing and home isolation.
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Step One of the three towards a COVID Safe Australia started on the 15 May at caution.
Picnics and BBQs were back on, with most locals complying with the ten people or under rule.
CrossFit Tea Gardens stepped up, offering outdoor fitness sessions providing lots of space for pent up exercisers.
Local businesses were also keen for locals to take a seat to dine in, up to ten at a time and in compliance with the 4sqm and 1.5m social distancing rules.
Along the Myall Coast, shops, cafes, restaurants, outdoor parks and boat ramps were open.
Tea Garden’s restaurant, Tillerman’s, opened for dine-in Thursday to Sundays.
Taking Hook and Cooks lead, the Boatshed set up tables and chairs street side as well as continuing their takeaway service every day (except Sunday).
Their riverside table service restaurant will be opening later but to fill in they have a delicious range of homemade jams and chutneys available.
Mumm’s reopened with a big thank you for the locals, giving five $100 gift vouchers each week for the next five weeks and you simply have to dine in to win.
Most of the local Café Bakeries have re-configured their seating so you can relax with a coffee rather than racing in and out.
Most of the larger RSL and sports clubs are still reviewing their options to ensure ongoing financial viability in terms of minimum numbers and therefore remain closed.
Local libraries, public tennis courts and council-owned swimming pools also remain closed.
The date for Step Two has yet to be confirmed by the NSW Government.
Step Two is gyms, cinemas, and beauty businesses re-opening, including our local galleries.
Step Two will also increase current group limits from 10 to 20
For all three steps, locals must maintain 1.5m distancing and good hygiene; stay home if unwell; frequently clean and disinfect communal areas; and have a COVID Safe plan in place at workplaces and premises.
Current COVID-19 numbers are 7,036 cases nationally, up from 6,929 cases last week and 98 deaths to date.
Three new cases reported in NSW in the last 24 hours, out of a total of 3,075.
Of those, none are in the Hunter New England region with the total number steady at 278.
Remember to download the COVIDSafe app to speed up identifying and contacting people exposed COVID-19
The National Coronavirus Helpline is 1800 020 080.
By Sandra MURRAY