"Today's announcement by the NSW Premier bringing forward the removal of many of the remaining COVID restrictions in New South Wales is leading the way for our community and businesses to move towards living with COVID as a normal part of our lives and work," Helen Waldron, NSW head of the peak employer association Ai Group said today.
"Businesses, whose offices have been shut for many months in some cases, can now plan with greater confidence to bring their people back to their workplaces. While hybrid work patterns will continue as people take advantage of greater flexibility, bringing people back together can lead to significant benefits such as improved teamwork, more cohesion and the closer collaboration and innovation that can come from face-to-face contacts.
"Many employers and employees are likely to stage their return to offices from tomorrow and set in train 'the great reunion' where colleagues again meet in person and where many new employees will see their work mates in three dimensions for the first time. A further boost will be provided from 25 February when masks will no longer be mandatory in most indoor settings.
"The earlier removal of restrictions will also refuel the livelihoods of the owners and employees of the many small CBD-based businesses that have been shut or operating part time. Our CBDs will regain vitality and once again attract tourists to join the now-permitted singing and dancing, just in time for St Patrick's Day," Ms Waldron said.

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