HUNTER businesses and their customers have been urged to follow COVID-19 regulations to prevent a second business shutdown.
Hunter Business Chamber chief executive officer Bob Hawes made the fresh appeal on Monday as Melbourne entered its first day of stage four restrictions in lockdown.
Wallsend Diggers, the Lambton Park Hotel and Hotel Jesmond were all closed for deep cleaning after health authorities began notifying the venues on Sunday.
Mr Hawes said a return to lockdown conditions would be crippling for business and the community but being proactive about safety could help avoid the need for further restrictions.
"We are all mindful of what people in Victoria are going through and with small outbreaks occurring in our region, it's a reminder to not let complacency slip in," he said.
"There is genuine fragility in the business sector, which has made huge sacrifices to keep the community safe, and we urge people to respect those sacrifices and the excellent efforts many businesses have made to continue operating safely and serving their customers."
Mr Hawes praised businesses that had opted for additional precautionary measures, such as requesting staff and customers to wear masks, suspending some services or taking steps to restrict the numbers of people gathering within their premises.
"The very least we should all be doing is operating within the government's public health order rules and restrictions, however if a business independently determines that they need to go further to address a perceived risk, then that action should be supported," he said.
"There is no playbook for the situation we are in now, so where there is doubt, erring on the side of caution is always sensible.
Mr Hawes said it was unfortunate that the "maverick actions of a few" had in other instances undermined the good work of others, and businesses should be applauded for taking whatever actions they felt necessary to minimise risk to customers and their staff.
"Ultimately, the aim is to keep business doors open for the benefit of the of business owners, their staff and the communities who use their products and services."
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