HOTELS and cafes across the Loddon switched to take-away meals and food within hours of the sudden lockdown last Thursday night.
They’d done it before and again kept up connection for communities far removed from the latest COVID hotspots.
At Pyramid Hill, Victoria Hotel owner Paul Carter said that country businesses were once more being hit.
“It was going to be a huge weekend for us - the local golf club tournament was on, there was a major quarterhorse association competition and the St Patrick’s (Catholic) Church also had a service that was bringing many people to town.
“We were booked out for meals and had many accommodation bookings.
“And for one local resident, for the third time her 90th birthday family gathering has had to be cancelled. The way it’s going, that might have to wait until her 100th,” Paul said.
The Victoria Hotel has offered take-away when restriction conditions have allowed during each lockdown. “But as each lockdown comes and goes, we notice that take-aways drop off,” he said.
And in the hours before last Thursday’s lockdown was announced and with speculation rising of a new raft of restrictions, several Loddon accommodation destinations reported a rise in inquiries for bookings coming out of Melbourne. They also had bookings cancelled before the formal announcement.
For other businesses, stock was quickly put behind closed doors for the second time in a fortnight. Bianca Rothacker at Bridgewater Nursery has worked overtime to keep bare-rooted fruit trees in prime condition for re-opening this week.