From the Newsroom

Owner and manager of Purple Haze Espresso Bar Leisa Connolly has seen an increase in business and has noticed how happy and relaxed the community is following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on December 15. Image: Emma Pritchard

No restrictions on community happiness as Covid-19 rules subside

Emma Pritchard

As NSW entered the final stage of the roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions on December 15 with reintroduced freedoms and the relaxing of rules concerning face masks and signing into venues using QR codes, the Clarence Valley Independent hit the streets to ask locals and business owners how they felt about the changes which came into effect last week.  

Leisa Connolly, owner and manager of Purple Haze Espresso Bar in Grafton, said her customers appear happier and more relaxed following the easing of restrictions.

“People seem to be enjoying themselves a lot more as well,” she said.

“It’s lovely to see.

“Everyone is smiling, and it’s been a busy time for us, which has been great.”

Maclean businesswoman Bev Anderson from Clovelly Fashions acknowledged her loyal customers for their ongoing support during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding it was fantastic to see so many restrictions finally be lifted.

“Everyone seems a lot happier with the changes and hopefully we’re getting things back to normal,” she said.

“All our customers are welcome, it’s business as usual for us.”

Yamba residents Taryn Grebbetson and Haylee Fletcher expressed their relief at no longer being required to sign into numerous venues.

Despite being fully vaccinated, both women said they still prefer to wear face masks while attending all indoor settings, especially where social distancing isn’t possible.

“I hated using the QR codes every single time I went into a shop, but I could understand why it was necessary so I was happy to comply so the shop owners wouldn’t get into trouble,” Ms Grebbetson said.

“I’m really relieved I don’t have to worry about signing in and out of most places anymore, because it was getting annoying.”

“We both have young kids who can’t get vaccinated yet and grandparents aged over 90 who we visit a lot, so we’ve decided to keep wearing our face masks just to keep ourselves as safe as can be,” Ms Fletcher added.

“But it’s still a good thing that a lot of restrictions have been lifted because I feel it was creating a divide between people who are vaccinated and people who don’t want to be vaccinated.

“I know that there are still businesses around here that are only open to vaccinated people, even now that restrictions have been eased, and some people are really shitty about that, but that’s their choice, just like it’s a personal choice to not get vaccinated.”

For the latest updates and changes regarding Covid-19 restrictions, please visit