A person wearing a protective face mask walks past a tram with a public health sign asking people to wear masks following further easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney, on Dec 10, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SYDNEY — As of Monday, the public health order issued by the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) requiring companies to allow staff to work from home has been lifted as the state continues to record no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

The local business community has welcomed the News, saying the move is expected to bring back much needed foot traffic and benefit local business, especially those located in the central area of Sydney, the capital of NSW.

As employees return to the office, the companies are encouraged to have COVID-19 safety plans in place and stagger staff starting and finishing times to reduce the impact on public transport, while workers have been strongly recommended to continue to wear masks on public transport, the NSW government said on its website.

Meanwhile, the border restriction between NSW and the state of South Australia (SA) has also been lifted, allowing people to travel freely across two states without quarantine, NSW health department said in a statement on Monday.

Furthermore, the limit on the number of people allowed to visit residents in aged care facilities will be removed from Tuesday, making festive performances within those facilities possible ahead of Christmas, the state’s health department said.

“The risk of transmission in the community is now low enough to facilitate the easing of restrictions for aged care, just as the NSW government has eased restrictions across many other areas,” NSW Health’s Director of Aged Care Stefanie Williams said.