Businesses across the Wimmera and Grampians are trying to adjust to the 'new normal' on an almost daily basis, as new operating and community recommendations dictate consumer behaviour.
Four weeks ago Halls Gap was a hive of activity, with the picturesque tourist town seeing visitor numbers akin to a time before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a different story during the weekend, with barely free picnic tables and parking spots indicative of a dramatic drop in visitation.
Coolas Icecreamery staff member Naralle Smith said the lack of visitors was concerning.
"This weekend is really quiet; hopefully it picks up soon," she said.
"The previous weekend - basically the whole school holidays - we were busy.
"Once the Melbourne lockdown came into effect the number of customers we saw was cut in half."
Ms Smith added that social distancing is more comfortable with fewer people in Halls Gap.
"It is much easier to move around now," she said.
"Before there was a sea of people and it made social distancing hard.
"That said, most people do the right thing - they socially distance, use sanitizer and understand the measures in place.
"However, we did have to ask some people to social distance during the holidays."
Pomonal resident Simon Freeman recently opened Grampians Wine Cellar in Halls Gap to showcase local wine alongside national and international favourites.
He said it was difficult adjusting to the new rules.
"While my business is not a cellar door, we want to offer customers the opportunity to buy a bottle of wine to drink outside," he said.
"We have one of the best views in the world (Gariwerd); however, I can only have five customers in my store at once.
"If three people are sitting at the bar enjoying a glass of wine, I am limited to only two other customers.
"So I have to put that idea to the side and wait until restrictions are lifted."
Further north, Rupanyup Supermarket owner Jeff Ruwoldt said his business, and town, is suffering.
"The pandemic really slowed things down, especially at the start, but things are starting to pick up a bit now," he said.
"You hope people are doing the right thing - you hope no one from Melbourne is coming through here.
"Hopefully it settles down soon."
The Rupanyup local said he's turned his attention to next year.
"I miss the local footy and I've basically written off 2020," he said.
"I'm looking forward to 2021 - that's how it is."
In Ararat, Fred and Bets owner Hannah Cunningham is trying to do the best thing by her business while making hundreds of coffees every day.
Before the pandemic, the Barkly St business could easily host 50 people under its roof.
However, current Victorian Government regulations restrict them to just four customers at once.
"We can't reopen our dining hall; some people don't fully understand all of the rules and regulations," she said.
"We are just trying to do the right thing, but it's so hard to keep up with every update.
"Our regulars are great, but it's the lack of tourists that have hurt us.
"Our income has dropped off in the last month."
Like many people, Ms Cunningham thought the coronavirus would be like a drop in the ocean.
However, as the Government announced more cases and new restrictions came in, the business owner can only cross her fingers.
"Initially we weren't concerned with the pandemic, but it is starting to play on us," she said.
"The pandemic has dragged on for so long; when this first started, we thought it would be over in a month or two.
"We're concerned about the future now."
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