Restaurants and cafes across Goulburn have been forced to offer take away only, with many restaurateurs considering temporary closure after new restrictions were announced on Sunday night.
All pubs, bars, nightclubs, cinemas, casinos, indoor sporting venues, entertainment venues and places of worship were required to close at midday Monday to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak. Restaurants and cafes can remain open if they serve take away only.
These restrictions, coupled with a decrease in customers and transmission fears, have forced many eateries to consider closing their doors for the next few months.
La Casa Italiana owner and head chef Franco Berlusconi said he may have to shut his restaurant.
"When you think about Italian food as takeaway it's pizza and pasta," he said.
"We don't do pizza, and pasta won't support us. We'll give it a week or two but we might have to shut down for a few months."
The fine-dining chef said people wouldn't pay restaurant prices for takeaway lasagna when they could get it cheaper pre-made from the supermarket.
"At the moment everything is up and down," Mr Berlusconi said.
Goulburn Chinese Restaurant owner Crystal Jiang has been anxiously following the news and plans to close if the region gets a high number of coronavirus cases.
"At the moment we still do takeaway, but if it gets too risky I might shut the door," she said.
"I don't care if we lose money, I just want to protect ourselves and the community."
Mrs Jiang has family in Hong Kong and has first-hand insight into the pandemic in China. She said everything was shut and her family were confined to their homes.
As a precaution she has taken her children out of school. The businesswoman is currently looking after her children while she runs the now unusually quiet restaurant.
"The shop has been quiet for the past few weeks, I'm struggling to pay the bills," she said.
Harvest Cafe, owner Janine Heat had the difficult job of letting six casuals go on Monday morning.
"It's one of the hardest things I've had to do as a boss but if you're not taking money, there's none to pay staff," she said.
Mrs Heat said she was shocked by the federal government's overnight anouncement, but expected something to happen, based on other countries' experiences.
She told The Post that the community had got behind them over the week amid social distancing rules. However the past 10 days had been quiet, which was also reflected in numbers around Belmore Park and Auburn Street car parking.
But the cafe will continue its take-away food and drink sales, courtesy of a side window on Market Street.
"We put it in three years ago when we bought the business. It was mainly for people over at the park but in hindsight, it's very helpful," Mrs Heat said.
As for the general mood, she told The Post that people were generally scared and worried about what the future held.
Elsewhere, at Bryants Bakery and Cafe, take-away sales were continuing after the noon deadline.
Manager Suzie Ottaway said she was waiting to hear whether bakeries were deemed an "essential service" under the government's announcement.
Everyone needs coffee, especially at this time.Bryants Cafe co-manager, Suzie Ottaway
"It's really confusing not knowing what to do. People have been good but are generally shocked and confused," she said.
"I have two children, aged 12 and nine, and I don't know whether I should send them to school. It's all hard to comprehend."
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For now, the bakery isn't stocking up too much, as a precaution. While uncertainty reins, Mrs Ottaway is sure about one thing.
"Everyone needs coffee, especially at this time," she said.
Meantime, take-away sales were continuing at Goulburn Square on Monday but chairs and tables were packed up to comply with the government's directive.
Roses Cafe in Montague Street has also closed its doors, while the Park Cafe continued to sell takeaway food.
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