Hardware giant Bunnings has had a change of heart, with dozens of warehouses across greater Sydney to reopen from Monday.
Managing director Mike Schneider said while 24 stores across the city would again be open to retail customers, shoppers were encouraged to keep using click and collect for non-urgent items.
In Sydney’s virus hotspot areas, only tradies will be allowed to shop in-store.
And don’t bother trying to sneak out of an area of concern to purchase in person – each store will have security guards to check that shoppers are staying local.
“For the reopening, we will be continuing to provide comprehensive COVID-safe measures in all stores,” Mr Schneider said.
The hardware chain was one of several major retailers forced to close in LGAs of concern, with customers moved online and to contactless pick-up.
Carparks were cordoned off from August 23 with tough restrictions including curfews and an extended lockdown, as the deadly Delta variant spread across NSW.
At the time, the hardware chain decided to extend the arrangement to include all of its Sydney stores.
Bunnings has already been operating on a similar basis throughout the Victorian lockdown.
“The reopening will mean many of our customers have better access to essential products needed to complete emergency home repairs and maintenance as well as preparing homes and properties for storm season,” Bunnings said in a statement.
On Thursday, NSW marked seven million vaccine doses administered, with 70 per cent of the state’s eligible population at least partly inoculated against COVID-19.
Mr Schneider said the higher rate of vaccination had fuelled the decision to reopen stores.
In the two weeks since the outlets were closed, virus numbers have continued to spike in NSW, with a record 1290 daily infections on Monday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian will continue allowing more freedoms to residents, who have been in lockdown since June 26, as vaccination numbers rise.
NSW is on course to hit its target of 70 per cent of the eligible population expected to have received both vaccine shots by mid-October.