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NSW businesses react to coronavirus restrictions and mandatory masks in Greater Sydney

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Business owners across Greater Sydney have had mixed reactions to the sweeping set of coronavirus restrictions which came into effect today.

a person preparing food in a kitchen: Ground Zero Cafe on Sydney's northern beaches is having its worst year in 27 years of trade. (ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Ground Zero Cafe on Sydney's northern beaches is having its worst year in 27 years of trade.

Yesterday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had, after months of resistance, made compulsory the wearing of masks indoors for indoor venues such as supermarkets and beauty salons.

The public health order came into effect at midnight and breaches could see an on-the-spot fine of $200, with a grace period for penalties until Monday.

She also announced a further reduction of restaurant capacities and the integration of the southern zone of the northern beaches into the same level of restrictions shared by Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Nepean Blue Mountains.

Member for Manly, James Griffin, said his northern beaches constituents were "absolutely thrilled" that restrictions, which have been in place there since December 19, had been eased.

"There's already been an immediate outpouring of people sharing what venues and restaurants they're looking forward to catching up with friends at," he said.

"For us, New Year's Eve didn't really happen. Those lunches and dinners with friends and family in the lead up to Christmas weren't able to happen either."

However, for some businesses in the region, the prospect of recovery is dismal.

"This is our biggest time of the year, this is when we make three to four months worth of income in two to three weeks," said Keiron Prenter, who owns the Mexicano restaurant in North Narrabeen.

Mr. Prenter's restaurant sits right at the south side of the Narrabeen Bridge, about 180 metres from the boundary separating the southern and northern zones.

"A lot of my clientele is over there… apart from everyone else, morale is down and people don't want to go out."

Mr. Prenter said the reduced capacity for hospitality venues introduced today meant that for a restaurant his size, it was not financially viable to open up again beyond takeaway.

The southern zone's stay-at-home provisions were lifted this morning. The northern peninsula — comprising of about 70,000 residents — are subjected to lockdown rules a little longer, until January 9.

Although the southern zone will still have more restrictions than before it went into lockdown, Mr. Griffin was confident his constituents could rise to the challenge.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, himself a northern beaches resident, said the testing rates there had been "extremely high".

"Almost 43 percent of the community came out to be tested, they have been fantastic," he said yesterday.

For some Sydney business owners, the mandated mask rules will have little impact on their lives.

"We've been wearing masks since the first outbreak, just to be safe," said Surry Hills hair salon owner Carly Vandermeer.

"A lot of our clients are choosing to wear masks and we have them at our front desk for anyone who'd like to wear one."

For hair and makeup artist Gemma Woods, who works in the film industry, it is a welcomed means to keep people accountable.

"I think if it's going to keep us healthy and safe, and keep the economy strong, then we just need to do this for a little bit longer," Ms. Woods said.

"If it's going to make people accountable to protect themselves and their loved ones, then people should be fined [for not wearing a mask].

"We [already] wear masks and face shields to work, so it's quite a strong restriction for us, so this [wearing a face mask rule] is nothing."

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