Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

“Pretty bad,” he said of their attempt. “They had tried to cut their hair with scissors and made holes in the hair.”

In Fairfield, the suburb that became the epicenter of COVID-19 early in the Delta eruption, Assyrian singer Gaggi Atoraya jokingly described by his friends as “Al Capone of Fairfield” resumed his seat at his local cafe with friends he did not have seen for months.


Atoraya summed up the mood among his group on Monday afternoon: “We have come together again and we are happy because we are all friends, we are together, we have not seen each other for a while. Now we sit together and talk together, that’s good. ”

Across Sydney, morning traffic increased by 17 per cent compared to the first day of lockdown back in June. In Bondi, where the COVID-19 transmission that began Sydney’s Delta eruption took place, parts of the Westfield car park reached capacity for the first time in months.

When retailers reopened, some lined up for summer fashion and others for larger sizes to accommodate lockdown flats.

“I really need to be wearing active clothes because I did not stay in the gym,” Racquel Garwood explained as she reached the front of the queue at designer activewear retailer Lululemon.

Music thundered from the middle level of Westfield Bondi Junction. The staff greeted each other like old friends. A cleaner carrying a mop looked like he was itching to give someone a hug. “A little difference,” he said. “Yesterday was depressing, today jungle. But it’s better like this. ”

Sera Ozbey, Pattison’s franchisee, considered what they should write on the board for daily deals before the doors opened to shoppers and decided to go for something else.

Sera Ozbey serves customers at Westfield Bondi Junction.

Sera Ozbey serves customers at Westfield Bondi Junction.Credit:Kate Geraghty

She chose a pink chalk and wrote “Welcome back Sydney”. “We are so happy to see everyone’s faces,” she said. “Everyone smiles – you can not see through the masks, but there is a glow. Everyone is so happy to be out and about with each other. It’s just been that long. ”

Pauline Pinete (left) waiting to enter a nail salon in Westfield Bondi Junction Mall on the first day with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions

Pauline Pinete (left) waiting to enter a nail salon in Westfield Bondi Junction Mall on the first day with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions Credit:Kate Geraghty

Customers waited at the doors of 24-hour Kmart stores to begin searching at 12 noon, while the drugstore Spotlight also shopped through the night to mark the occasion. Midnight also brought queues of pundits to pokies at clubs like City Tattersalls and Wests Ashfield.

Former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian did not want to describe the first stage of the city’s return to life on Monday as “Freedom Day”, but that did not stop training owner Joel Baur from putting on George Michael’s song Freedom by repetition as he celebrated the opening of his studio. “It’s been a tough few months,” he said.

New Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet, however, had no objections to the f-word. “NSW, you have earned it. Enjoy it, ”he said, sipping what one of his colleagues called a“ freedom foam ”at a pub in Moore Park.


Working parents, however, looked enviously at his pub visit as they continued to homeschool their children. Until children were safe back in school, said Georgie Dent, CEO of The Parenthood, “the daily reality of working parents of school-age children will not be dramatically different”.

The youngest and oldest students return to school next week, followed by other years on October 25th. Most parents follow the government’s requests to keep children at home, with between 94 and 95 percent learning from home last week, which dropped to 93 percent on Monday.

With Natassia Chrysanthos, Anna Patty, Jenny Noyes and Mary Ward and Michael Koziol

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