As noon approaches pubs and clubs around the Nambucca Shire are preparing to close their doors as per the latest NSW Government directive.
At the Macksville Ex-Services Club CEO Judy Ward said her staff was devastated by the news but pulling together to work out what could be done.
"Trading will cease at noon and we are waiting for more information from Clubs NSW as to whether we can run a take-away food service," Judy said.
"Our menu is set up to provide that but we need some clarification ... I can confirm Meals on Wheels will continue as that is an essential service."
She said staff who had leave owing to them were being asked to take it and casuals were being given as much information as possible about Centrelink support.
"At the moment our staff is our first concern and we will do everything we can to help them get through this.
"Beyond that we are not really sure ... as far as we understand this will be in place for at least four weeks, most likely much longer.
"It will be a long journey to rebuild when we finally get going again ... and it is a huge blow to the community, as we are unable to provide the donations we have in the past."
Over at the Nambucca Heads RSL Club CEO Wendy Mills said management was thinking out-of-the-box to ensure staff retained some hours, albeit reduced.
"From noon today our bars, bistro and poker machines will close but the bottle shop will stay open and we will be doing take-away food with home deliveries," Wendy said.
"We've installed another coffee machine in the coffee shop and will be opening from 6am to offer tradies and morning walkers coffees, bacon and egg rolls, muffins and the like.
"We need staff to provide all that plus to manage the phones.
We've survived fires and floods so far this year, so we will survive this. My job is to keep the dream alive and our staff inspired."Wendy Mills, CEO Nambucca Heads RSL
To that end staff are invited to meet twice weekly for a coffee and a morning walk to the V-Wall and back: "We need to keep the contact up and make sure people are doing OK."
Out at Bowraville, Bowra Hotel's licensee Shane Welsh said the ban had been imposed so quickly that he was not quite sure how things would operate after noon today.
"We will reassess it all with the owner," Shane said.
"Hopefully we can offer customers take-away food and beer ... I am not sure what will happen with accommodation. This will have a bad impact on our small community."
At the Star Hotel farewell drinks were underway until noon and then everything apart from the accommodation was set to close.
Licensee Albert Nascimento said he had no choice but to lay off all casuals, about 75 per cent of the staff.
"These are tough days and there is no quick fix," Albert said.
"I am disappointed with the Government's statewide blanket ruling.
"We have been trying to do the right thing with social distancing and now just because venues in Sydney are full, we are also forced to close."
The Pub with No Beer has also laid off its staff with general manager Toni Jones and licensee Rob Pawsey keeping the doors open for take-aways.
"We will shorten trading hours ... I am looking into ordering groceries in bulk so we can support the community," Toni said.
"We are not really sure what will happen with accommodation but the camping ground is certainly shut. We will have to try and stay positive in the weeks, maybe months ahead.
"There are plenty of things we can do to keep busy, but most importantly we are here for the community."