South-west business owners were left confused after the state and federal governments sent mixed messages about what should and shouldn't stay open as measures to combat the coronavirus spreading ramped up.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced all non-essential activity in Victoria would be shut down within 48 hours.
NSW also put out a similar statement on Sunday but after a national cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the shut down would apply mainly to pubs and club from midday Monday.
Warrnambool business owners on Sunday afternoon took to Facebook to tell their customers they were having to close but on Monday most realised they could stay open.
Daizy Boutique owner Maree Wills said that after Mr Andrews' announcement she thought she had to close the shop.
However, she said she was told late Sunday night after Mr Morrison's press conference that she didn't have to.
"Retail in general wasn't mentioned. As long as I can stay open I'll stay open," she said.
Mrs Wills said she was starting to offer home deliveries because much of her clientele did not buy online.
"We'll get through it. Everybody's in the same boat and we will get through. I'm just overwhelmed by the local support. It's just been amazing," she said.
Spectrum Books owner Lorraine Smith said she was initially confused on Sunday about what she was supposed to do with her business.
"I thought all non-essential businesses would have to close, so I thought OK the book shop isn't essential," she said.
"That's when I jumped on Facebook and told everybody."
Thinking she had 48 hours to close, she then heard that it was from midday Monday but her son alerted her to the the fact that she didn't have to close, yet.
"So I got back on Facebook again to tell people I'm open after all. It has been confusing," she said.
"We're sole traders. This is our business, our livelihood. If I have to close, my goodness what are we going to do?"
She said she had thought about doing home deliveries if she had to close.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said there was some confusion on Sunday night about the Victorian shutdown of non-essential services, and on Monday she was inundated with calls from businesses.
She said she was seeking some clarification for some businesses who were still not sure whether they were allowed to operate.
"If a carpet cleaner can come into my home, why can't a personal trainer?" Ms Britnell said.
"Daniel Andrews I'm afraid, yesterday did send the state into a spin.
"That caused chaos. And people are so confused still. I'm inundated with calls. People are upset.."
She said she was contacted by a large venue which did mainly weddings and they had everything cancelled.
"It's dire. It's really difficult," she said.
"The of the breadth of the businesses calling me, and the breadth of confusion.
"I've been seeking clarification on the cross-border issues. We're very close to South Australia so what happens to businesses who have some part of their business in South Australia and some part in Victoria?
"What is essential services? Is somebody with special skills who is fixing something in South Australia, but lives in Victoria, are they going to have to isolate for 14 days before they can go in and do the job? It's really confusing."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.