It's a Royal occasion as the lockdown lifts for lucky Oberon

GOOD NEWS: Royal Hotel manager Amber O'Bernier says the bar and bistro staff are ready for business now Oberon's out of the COVID lockdown.
GOOD NEWS: Royal Hotel manager Amber O'Bernier says the bar and bistro staff are ready for business now Oberon's out of the COVID lockdown.

THE Royal Hotel threw open its doors at one minute past midnight on Saturday as Oberon came out of lockdown.

Businesses have been able to start operating again and students have returned to school thanks to Oberon's clean sheet when it comes to COVID, having yet to record a case.

Royal Hotel manager Amber O'Bernier said she and staff are excited but nervous as they want to keep the town safe and open so people can move around.

"We have strict rules and conditions to abide to, but to have staff back and the dining room open is great," she said.

"We kept the bottle shop open during the lockdown and the bistro stayed open for takeaways only.

RETURN: Students were back at school from Monday. Schools will be open for one week before the two-week September school holidays start.

RETURN: Students were back at school from Monday. Schools will be open for one week before the two-week September school holidays start.

"Oberon's businesses can only stay vigilant by checking that customers come from our own local government area."

People in regional local government areas where stay-at-home orders have lifted can now have up to five visitors in a home (not including children 12 and under); up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings including hospitality, retail stores and gyms; retail stores can reopen under the one person per four square metre rule; and personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per four square metres, capped at five clients per premises.

Hospitality venues are able to reopen subject to one person per four square metres inside and one person per two square metres outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.

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; and churches and places of worship are able to open subject to the one person per four square metre rule, with no singing.

Oberon RSL Club general manager Peter Price said on the RSL's Facebook page that, after discussions with the local police, those who live within the Oberon local government area as defined by the local government area boundary may enter the club (the postcode is irrelevant).

He said staff will ask those attending the club, before they are granted entry, to prove where they live regardless of whether they are a member or not.

He said contractors visiting the club from a lockdown area must show their permit to travel and proof of a negative COVID test taken within the last three days.

"These are truly unusual and difficult times and regulations, but if we all work together, we can make it all work, so please have your proof of residence on arrival to assist the staff. It is so important that we get this right as fines apply for both the patron and the club and the police have warned they will be constantly checking the club for compliance," Mr Price's post said.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz said it is a great relief for the community, but is urging vigilance nonetheless.

As Oberon is surrounded by local government areas still dealing with positive cases, she said life won't be returning to complete normality just yet.

"There are still health orders in place, it just gives you a little more freedom and we've got to be thankful for that, but vigilant," she said.

Local school can return for one week before school holidays begin.

Schools coming out of lockdown are returning to level three restrictions, which includes QR code check-ins, no visitors on site, restricted activities, increased hygiene practices, mask-wearing and staggered drop-off and pick-up times.

Oberon's vaccination rates keep climbing, with 65 per cent of residents now having had their initial jab and 32 per cent their second.

As of Saturday, September 11, Oberon Medical Centre had administered 3376 COVID-19 vaccinations - 1139 fully vaccinated and 1098 partially vaccinated.