A HEATHCOTE tourism head was startled to hear the borders to his town's south will be closed effective Wednesday at midnight.
Mitchell Shire - which is immediately south of Heathcote - will join all metropolitan Victorian councils in stage three lockdown.
Stage three restrictions are what the whole of Victoria was in at the height of the lockdown.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the tightening restrictions on Tuesday afternoon as the number of daily COVID-19 diagnoses reach record highs.
Soldiers and police roadblocks could be deployed on stretches of boundaries to three central Victorian council boundaries as part of the new restrictions.
Heathcote Tourism Chair Peter Maine was unsure what impact a return to stage three lockdown would have on the town.
"I don't know how many people from there might move around the shire, we don't tend to get them at our business, but they may very well be visiting bakeries or for fast food," he said.
"There would have to be some impact for Heathcote, I just don't know what that would be."
The City of Greater Bendigo is also unsure exactly what the impact of the closures will be.
"It's really hard to gauge," chief executive Craig Niemann said.
Heathcote attracts a lot of its business from commuters driving between Melbourne and towns like Echuca and Deniliquin.
Mr Maine's business Rutherford & Maine lost 90 per cent of its business when the first round of stage three lockdowns began earlier this year.
"The amount of traffic on the roads here fell off a cliff," he said.
"It was local traffic and a few trucks from the Axedale sand quarry."
Rutherford & Maine's business returned to about 70 per cent since restrictions eased, which Mr Maine said meant it could get by.
The twin Melbourne lockdown and state border closures could affect every part of Bendigo's tourism and hospitality industry, Mr Niemann said.
"A lot of us rely on that visitation," he said.
"There's an element of that (demand) that will be shut down. It's hard to gauge what the number or value of that will be. Really hard.
"That's why we've run a 'Love your Local' campaign, to get local people to spend here to support local businesses. I'm sure that people are doing that as best they can."
Mr Niemann hoped for some good news.
The premier told reporters this afternoon he would make announcements about some regional areas soon.
Bendigo's council has been pushing for travel between areas where there could be a low risk of COVID-19's spread.
It hoped for a lifting on restrictions like the 20-person limit in restaurants and other hospitality venues.
"This is an ongoing challenge for the state, and the world in fact, and the premier has used the best advice he could get was to call in those stage three restrictions," Mr Neimann said.
"Regional Victoria's been pretty well off ... we've predominantly done the right thing and been very fortunate that we've had low numbers and we want to keep it that way."