Popular Warrnambool cafe Bohemia has made the heartbreaking decision to close its doors until the virus threat passes rather than try and offer takeaway food.
Owner Steve Hickman said it was not viable to stay open and he felt for his 13 staff.
"It's awful. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see what's happened because we've built up such a good business," he said.
"This is a huge deal.
"The three full-timers will get their holiday pay and then they're on leave without pay. and then all the others have been cut. They'll all go to Centrelink to see what benefits they're entitled to if any at all."
Mr Hickman said that he had looked at the option of staying open and doing takeaway food with reduced staff, but decided against it.
"We lose money whether we open or shut. It's a tough decision. Who knows what's right? I don't," he said.
"We feel everything will be locked down in the next week or two for a period of time so they can try and control this horrible virus.
"And our fear is this could go anywhere from three to six months.
"We have such an awesome team of staff and we're hoping we can still keep those people onboard but the longer it goes on, the more desperate people will get looking for jobs but I don't think there'll be any jobs either."
Health issues also played a role in the decision to close.
"I'm 60 years of age and I've had my own health issues and I've probably got a compromised immune system. I personally need to be very careful," he said.
"We're responsible for our staff and if we stayed open...and someone came in contact with a person with the virus, well how would you feel as an employer, that would be awful."
He said he would definitely be reopening his doors when the crisis passed, and when the government allowed it.
"We will be here because we're strong enough to be here but I worry about a lot of businesses," Mr Hickman said.
"This is world war three without armies,."
Mr Hickman said he was still trying to work out what to do with all the leftover food. "We've got a fair bit of it," he said.
He said they were able to give away 80 dozen eggs on Monday.
"They went quickly. We usually go through 65 to 70 dozen on a weekend," he said.
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