BENDIGO's Piano Bar has temporarily closed its Hargreaves Street venue, as staff shortages caused by requirements to isolate and test for COVID-19 continue to put major strains on hospitality trading hours in the region.
Managing director Aaron Skinner said there were five Piano Bars across Victoria and only enough employees available to open three of them.
"Our first concern has to be for welfare of our people and making sure that they are all OK,'' he said.
"This feels just like the forced lockdowns we had before but it's worse because this time we don't have any government support. We are still paying our management staff because if we don't we'll lose them and we definitely don't want that."
The requirements to isolate have been hitting a range of sectors including the political, with Northern Victorian MP Tania Maxwell at home yesterday.
"Some of my husband's work colleagues tested positive for COVID-19. He has since been tested and is waiting for the result. In the circumstances I am working from home,'' she said.
Owner of Bendigo's Shamrock Hotel, and regional spokesman for the Australian Hotels Association, Ray Sharawara said an emergency meeting of hospitality leaders would be held on Friday morning to address the growing issue.
"A lot of places were closed on Tuesday night in Bendigo. I have staff who are isolating and waiting on test results at the moment. God knows where this will end," he said.
"This is a very serious thing that's happening here. We're trying to get the Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for staff.
"We are holding an executive board meeting of the AHA at 11am on Friday to come up with an approach or a policy on this to take to government because the situation is bleak. We are all going to be in this position soon of having a lot of staff out of action and having to shut."
Mr Sharawara said the AHA would likely call for the government to issue cash grants to hospitality venues that were closed due to the self-isolation periods.
"We believe the government will have to help because we are experiencing lockdowns now through the consequences of the decision making by government,'' he said.
"Last time they responded with cash grants to venues that could not open - according to size - and we will likely be asking for that to happen again."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.