Like thousands of eateries across Sydney, Bistecca, near the famous Opera House, went from packing in diners to "zero trade” in June as Australia’s biggest city endured one of the world’s strictest COVID-19 lockdowns after an outbreak of the delta variant.

Now, with virus-related measures in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), to begin easing on Oct. 11, bookings are streaming in. "We are pretty much opening up to almost our full trading hours right off the bat,” said co-owner James Bradey. "It is going gangbusters.”

He’s not the only one preparing to get back to business. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Thursday that life is set to start returning to normal, after the vaccination rate for people over the age of 16 hit 70%. In the initial reopening stage, non-essential retail stores, pubs and gyms will be allowed to reopen to fully vaccinated patrons, with capacity limits.