Renee Harris cannot wait to ditch the mask.
"It gets super hot, and your face is where most of your senses are, so, if your face is hot, your whole body's hot," the Happy Wombat restaurant worker said on Friday after learning the government will remove mask rules for vaccinated hospitality staff from December 15.
"It's very sweaty, and people can't hear you when you talk."
Under changes announced on Thursday, QR code check-ins will be needed only at high-risk venues, including hospitals, nursing homes, gyms, churches, hairdressers, beauty salons, pubs, small bars, registered clubs and nightclubs, from December 15.
Proof of vaccination will not be required at most businesses.
Ms Harris said the end of vaccination checks would make life easier for staff.
"If there's only two of us on, one person's on the coffee machine and you've got to run to the door and check people's vaccination. It's a lot of work.
"You kind of need that extra person just to be checking for vaccinations."
Happy Wombat owner Luke Tilse said the new rules were "awesome".
"Until they changed it yesterday all the front-of-house staff were still going to have to wear masks in December even though we're going to have vaccinated and unvaccinated customers in the venue that don't have to wear masks," he said.
"We all can't wait to stop wearing masks. That's the thing that killed the trade.
"We're already going pretty good, but hopefully that visual thing's not going to be seen around the streets any more so confidence will just come back to the economy."
Hunter Business chief executive Bob Hawes said some businesses might "take a little longer" to welcome back unvaccinated patrons due to workplace health and safety concerns.
Newcastle hotelier Mick Starkey said his staff were "very excited" about the end of masks on the job.
"I'm one of them, don't worry," he said.
"Wearing a mask is a barrier in hospitality in terms of personalities and creating a nice environment. It's great news."
Mr Starkey said high vaccination rates gave him confidence his staff would not be unduly exposed to the virus, but he remained "apprehensive" about the future given rising cases in Europe.
Wayne Stewart, who runs Wallsend's Lemon Grove Hotel, welcomed the new rules and said the change in premier had "sped things up".
"The whole purpose of getting vaccinated was to get back to normality," he said.
The government began rolling out a second round of Dine & Discover vouchers on Friday.
The two $25 vouchers will appear automativally on people's Service NSW app or via SMS or email between now and early December.
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