Local businesses are back to square one, as Kempsey begins its snap seven-day lockdown.
This comes after two cases of COVID were reported in Kempsey last Saturday, prompting NSW health officials to put the Macleay region into lockdown.
Stay at home orders were effective from yesterday at 5pm and are expected to go until September 28.
The cases are close household contacts of each other. Their infections were not acquired in Kempsey and are not related to previous local cases.
Lou Kesby, owner of Lou's Restaurant in Kempsey said "it was devastating" when he got the news yesterday.
"We were setting up for a week and restocking the place, and we've fully stocked it thinking we are good to go ahead, but I guess not," Mr Kesby said.
"I am in here today, trying to salvage stock and repack it and do what we can with it, it's a real headache at the moment.
"I think the lockdown is a little bit overdramatic, and it's getting to the stage where I think, what's it all about."
Owner of the Costa Rica Motel at South West Rocks, Tiffaney Pandey, said it has affected her school holiday bookings.
"I had to cancel all the bookings from areas this week that were out of lockdown, so it's affecting us big time," Ms Pandey said.
"I mean if it has to happen, it has to happen, there's not too much information being said about it yet, so hopefully we hear more about it in the coming days."
Crescent Head Country Club manager, Colan Ryan, pointed out optimistically "there's worse places to be in lockdown other than here".
"It does make it very difficult when food has been prepared fresh, and without any notice you have to close. But we have to be understanding of why we are having the lockdown, and the government is doing the best they can," Mr Ryan said.
Both Lou's Restaurant, and the Country Club are still open for takeaway orders.
Kempsey Shire Council mayor, Liz Campbell commented on the situation.
"It's really important for our community to pull together now and go out and get vaccinated, particularly in the South and West Kempsey areas," Cr Campbell said.
"We're hoping to get a walk in vaccine centre in South Kempsey, and that takes the pressure off the health system for people ending up in hospital.
"People can't wait until they are really sick to get tested, if you live in an area where there is detection in the sewer, get tested. Also don't forget to check in and out of places, as it helps contract trace.
"We want to come out of this in a week's time, we don't want to be continually locked down, if we get no more cases, get vaccinated and continue to do all of these things, there should be no reason for us to stay in lockdown."
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