New government restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic have further impacted Gunnedah's businesses, particularly local hairdressing salons and beauty parlours.
Under new rules, from midnight Wednesday night beauty parlours are no longer allowed to be open and hairdressers are allowed to operate but with strict social distancing and a limit of 30 minutes for appointment times.
The changes have hit local business owners hard.
Rosa Leopardo Hair Design owner Sophie Smyth said 90 per cent of her clientele had colours done, but with the time restrictions these would no longer go ahead.
"It'll just be basic cuts, or just your shampoo and blow dry. Men's cuts will be fine, they're always under 30 minutes," Ms Smyth said.
"We're going to be very limited but I guess we're still one of the lucky ones to still be open but we're not sure for how much longer."
Ms Smyth said she had been busy with colour appointments before the new rules kicked in.
"We've got all our safety precautions in place with distancing and cleanliness but we're just trying to do everything we can," she said.
"It's scary times for everyone really, not just us."
Blush & Bloom Skin and Beauty owner Caity Byrnes says she has "mixed emotions" having to close her new business' doors. She only started her business at the end of 2019.
"It's best for everybody's health but it is very heartbreaking at the same time," Mrs Byrnes told the Namoi Valley Independent.
"I've given it a red hot crack and I'll be back as soon as they let me but I feel a little robbed of time."
She's now selling a lot of her products online via www.blush-bloombeauty.com/shop.
"If anyone wants to order any skincare it's all available online and I'm happy to drop it at their houses but other than that sit tight," Mrs Byrnes said.
Sally-Anne Hall of Simpatico Massage Therapies made the tough decision to temporarily close on Monday.
"I had done the government training for infection control and ... had been wiping down hard surfaces, washing towels at 95 degrees and washing hands for 60 seconds, but I made the decision on Monday evening to postpone my massage treatments for the meantime for the health and safety of all my clients," Ms Hall said.
"It's a hands-on treatment in a closed room, so I don't know what the future holds but I'm really grateful for my clients.
"They've supported me this far and when it's all finished and over and done with and we return to normal life, I look forward to helping them again, helping them to look after their bodies."
Government restrictions have made changes to the following:
Banned or closed
- Registered and licensed clubs, licensed premises in hotels and pubs, casinos and night clubs.
- Cinemas and entertainment venues
- Auctions and open house inspections.
- Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, massage and tattoo parlours.
- Outdoor and indoor markets.
- Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres.
- Galleries, museums, libraries and swimming pools.
- Gyms and indoor sport venues.
- Overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel.
- Hairdressers and barbers must restrict the amount of time a patron can be in the premises to no more than 30 minutes.
- Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people.
- Restaurants and cafes can offer delivery and takeaway only. Food courts in shopping centres may also only offer takeaway.
- Weddings restricted to five people the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses.
- Funerals limited to no more than 10 people.
- Visits to houses should be kept to a very small number of people. States may choose to legislate to restrict house parties.
- Shopping centres and other shops not specifically told to close, including bottle shops.
- Medical centres.