Shoalhaven residents flocked to pubs, cafes, shops and hair salons after waking up to new freedoms on Monday morning.
From midnight, many businesses were allowed to re-open their doors (with restrictions) and individuals could invite up to ten visitors in their homes again.
Licensee of the Postman's Tavern, Christopher Bell, said the pub reopened at 10am and that a regular was waiting at the door "as if lockdown never happened."
Five patrons were at the tavern by 11:30am with a cold schooner in hand.
"It's good to be back," said Mr Bell.
"It will be interesting getting back into the bigger shifts, because now we're used to doing smaller takeaway shifts."
Within the first hour of opening, Mr Bell already helped a patron with accessing their COVID-19 vaccination ceritifcate so they could enter.
Mr Bell said he isn't too concerned about turning unvaccinted people away as he is used to enforcing other rules surrounding responsible drinking.
"It will be the same as any other principle we have to enforce, like asking people to stay seated or asking them to leave for being too rowdy," he said.
"The main issue I see happening is people arguing about coming in when they're not vaccinated."
Only fully vaccinated (and medically exempt) people are granted the new freedoms, and it's up to business owners to "take reasonable measures" to stop unvaccinated people from entering their venues.
While excited to re-open, some business owners have felt anxiety in the lead up, especially around the potential backlash that may come with enforcing the new rules.
However owner of Dymocks in Nowra, Ted Downes, said everyone had been compliant with providing proof of vaccination on Monday.
"It's a little bit of a chore having to make sure everyone's vaccinated, but everyone today has been very happy to comply and we've had no troubles," he said.
"Hopefully it stays that way."
With the phones running hot at Scruples Hair and Beauty, owner Sandra Bayer said she is excited for vaccination rates to reach 80 per cent so more restrictions can ease.
"We've all been a bit nervous with butterflies because everyone wants to come in straight away," said Mrs Bayer.
"The phones having been ringing one after the other.
"I'm banking on the state reaching 80 per cent (fully vaccinated) next week so we're allowed more people in the salon."
At the moment, five people are allowed in hair salons at a time and Mrs Bayer said she has had to book people who are desperate for a chop later than they'd like.
When NSW reaches 80 per cent fully vaccinated, there will be no limit on customers for salons and other personal services.
Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wasn't keen on the term "freedom day", but NSW's new Premier Dominic Perrottet doesn't mind it.
The owner of the surf retail store Aquatique, Annie Aldous, isn't fond of the term either.
While she is thrilled to have customers back in the store, Mrs Aldous said she thinks it won't feel like "freedom" until more restrictions are loosened.
"We've been so excited to open up and welcome people back in," she said.
"But there are too many restrictions to call it 'freedom day' yet. We've been calling it our soft opening," she said.
"We don't want anti-vaxxers to get the wrong idea by calling it 'freedom day', because we can't let people in until they are double vaccinated."
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