Vaccination rates in southern NSW remain below par, despite freedom day dawning due to the state hitting 70 per cent vaccination.
Across NSW 73.5 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated. However in the Albury local government area just 61.4 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.
While only 47.7 per cent of Edward River residents have had two COVID vaccines, 69.7 per cent of Federation and 59.1 per cent of Greater Hume residents.
South of the border, the North East is ahead of the curve in Victoria where just 58.6 per cent of the state is fully vaccinated.
67.6 per cent of Wangaratta's population is fully vaccinated, 63.1 per cent of Wodonga, 69.4 per cent of Benalla and 68.8 per cent of Alpine.
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Australian Industry Group's Tim Farrah and Business NSW regional manager for the Riverina-Murray Anthony McFarlane were not concerned that southern Riverina was reopening despite having a vaccination rate of less than 70 per cent.
"Regional NSW and our area has already been effectively out of lockdown so I wouldn't be concerned," Mr McFarlane said.
Mr Farrah said it was time.
"The state, health services and industry and everyone has had plenty of time now to prepare for this moment, there's no need to put it off any longer," he said.
"For lots of reasons we believe people need to get back to starting to live as normal a life as possible, living with COVID...
"It's not just about the economy it's about mental health and lives... It's really good for everyone."
Mr Farrah said the state needs to find a better way to police vaccination status.
"Certainly it's contentious," he said of businesses having to check the vaccination status of customers.
"I really don't think it's fair to put on especially young people in workplaces and retailers...
"Especially as some people may take offence to that and it's a potential conflict in the workplace between customers and someone that works there.
"That's not good."
Mr McFarlane said last week the government published an updated COVID-19 Safety Plans including a toolkit to assist businesses.
He urged any business that hasn't revised their COVID-19 Safety Plan to do so by visiting nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe.
"As we go into this week and people [need to] familiarise themselves with new recommendations, there's much more detail around requirements including the reasonable steps they need to check patrons coming into certain venues," he said.
"I think it will be smoother sailing as we come into upcoming weeks."
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