BUSINESSES are shutting or cutting hours in peak tourist season because of staff shortages due to COVID-19 concerns.
There were 26 new cases in Warrnambool on Tuesday as the total active number hit 62 - the most at any time during the pandemic - and 13 in Moyne Shire with 40 in total.
A short time ago, Warrnambool's Pavilion Cafe and Bar announced it was temporarily closed.
"We have done our best to hang in there however many of our staff are currently isolating," it said on Instagram.
"That's the way the COVID crumbles ... we will let you know when we will be back as soon as possible."
Port Fairy IGA, the town's only supermarket, has been forced to cut its opening hours despite the seaside village being packed with tourists.
Owner Colin Cleary said the doors would close at 6pm instead of 8pm each night as COVID reduced his workforce of 80.
"We've got about 10 staff members who are getting tested and a few who have it," Mr Cleary said.
Mr Cleary said it was disappointing because the supermarket was usually open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, only closing on Christmas Day.
He is also receiving 20 to 30 calls a day from people searching for rapid antigen tests.
"They're just so hard to get," he said.
Mr Cleary said he had sent a staff member to Warrnambool on Tuesday for tests but they had returned empty handed. "I believe there are 35 million of them floating around on the ocean somewhere," he said.
Oak and Anchor Hotel Port Fairy is also reducing hours because one-third of its staff is showing symptoms but they're struggling to get tested.
Ally Richardson said the business would remain open with reduced operating hours from Wednesday to Sunday, with up to eight staff members of 26 isolating while waiting for test results.
"Staff members can't get rapid antigen tests (RAT). they need to get PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests because they all have at least one of or a mild symptom so they have to quarantine until they get tested," she said.
"They don't live with the positive cases, but could have contracted the virus from people they have been around, so it's playing on their mind."
Ms Richardson said the lack of staff had a "massive" impact because it was the busiest trading period of the year.
"It's the summer months that get you the money to get through winter," she said.
"Now we're struck with this when it's already been a hard year."
Ms Richardson said patrons had been understanding.
"I know the town's struggling pretty hard," she said.
Coffin Sally, a popular pizza restaurant in the town, posted on Facebook that it was closed "for a bit, getting tests and awaiting results".
Port Fairy Coffee Roasters was closed on Monday due to a staff shortage.
Meanwhile, Ms Richardson said with 12 weddings booked at the venue this year, one couple had cancelled, another had postponed and a further two were looking at cancelling or moving their wedding date.
Along the coast at Cape Bridgewater, the town's only hospitality venue closed on Monday.
Bridgewater Bay Cafe owner Scott Martin said two staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 through a RAT test, got a PCR test on Tuesday, and were now waiting for the results.
Another two had been in contact with positive cases. The venue has 20 staff.
"We didn't have to close because we've got enough staff to keep us going, but unsure of the impact on other staff members in case they get symptoms, we've decided to close," he said. They hope to reopen on Thursday.
Elsewhere there were:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.