BORDER cafes and restaurants are scrambling to staff their eateries under tighter border restrictions, which came into effect this week.
The NSW government announced a smaller "border zone" along the state border on Tuesday in response to Melbourne's coronavirus spike before widening the net to include more Wodonga suburbs on Thursday.
Still, many border hospitality workers remain stranded from their jobs by being outside the border bubble on the opposite side of the border.
Wodonga cafe The Secret Cup closed for trade on Wednesday, when they couldn't get enough staff, partly due to the border closure.
The Secret Cup owners Jane and Michael Keats, who both work in the business with their daughter, employ four other staff.
Ms Keats said one employee lived outside the border zone, north of Albury.
"They have been trying to get a permit every day but with no luck so far," she said.
"We did a scramble to find staff to open today and we're scrambling to find ex-staff who live inside the bubble - who haven't moved away for uni or something else - to work this weekend."
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Having marked the fourth anniversary of the cafe on Tuesday, Ms Keats said they had reopened for dining-in after a two-week closure in March and then a takeaway-only service.
She said they could cater for 20 inside and the same in the courtyard, having introduced face masks for all front of house staff.
"We understand we're living in a pandemic and we're taking all of the precautions to keep everyone safe," she said.
However, Ms Keats said the changing rules around the border closure had impacted them.
"We're missing out on a bit of weekend trade from Albury people," she said.
"But we have a really supportive community in Wodonga and we're so grateful for them."
Initially cut off from Geoffrey Michael Patissier in Albury by tighter restrictions, Leneva-based owner Geoffrey Michael welcomed the revised "border zone" yesterday.
Having shut on Wednesday, Geoffrey had a day's preparation to reopen on Saturday.
There's no prizes for guessing his weekly bespoke pastry.
"Saturday's Geoff Nut will be the Border Bubble Geoff Nut!" he said.
"It's the Border Brownie flavour, which was a bit of a favourite with a lot of people."
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