The North-East has dodged a jobs bullet with only abattoirs subject to unprecedented restrictions imposed on Victorian businesses by Premier Daniel Andrews to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Under the changes announced on Monday meat works will be the only regional industry sector directly impacted by the measures associated with the stage four changes confirmed 24 hours earlier by the Victorian government.
Wodonga Abattoir, one of the city's biggest employers, will have to scale back production by a third in line with changes imposed on all meat processing facilities across Victoria.
But remaining meat workers will be kitted out in full personal protective equipment such as gowns, masks and shields and will also be subject to routine testing for COVID-19.
"These changes will be enforceable," Mr Andrews said.
"And the onus will be on employers to make sure they're doing the right thing by their workers, including ensuring those with symptoms, and potentially the virus, do not come to work.
"As always, this work will be done in consultation with industry and with unions."
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Wodonga Abattoir managing director Matthew McPhee said he was still to fully understand the impact on his business, but was comfortable with COVID-19 safety plans already in place.
"It's definitely going to have an impact, but to what extent is what we need to establish," he said.
"We've had very strict, internal COVID policies and the workforce has done a fantastic job.
"We've been temperature checking, restricting visitors, pretty much from day one of the pandemic.
"We've got people going around disinfecting the place constantly, but as we've learnt more we've done those.
"The health department and WorkSafe have contacted us in the previous months going over our procedures and they've said they are as good or if not better than what everyone else is doing."
Business Wodonga chairman Graham Jenkin had feared the work places changes coming into effect in Melbourne would be rolled out in regional areas.
"I was definitely fearing the worst," he said.
"Thus far stage three is way better than going to stage four.
"We'll also need to keep an eye out for any supply chain issues from different parts of Melbourne shutting down."
But Mr Jenkin said he wanted to take nothing away from the hardship about to be experienced again for pubs, cafes and restaurants which would be subject to stage three restrictions for a second time beginning Thursday.
"They are the ones I'm really feeling for," he said.
"In many instances they've just got themselves up and going again, employing staff.
"But they are back to square one and we really need to support them if we can in what will be a challenging six-week period."
An estimated 250,000 are expected to be impacted by the changes announced yesterday and Mr Andrews said there would be further announcements in coming days.
"It's hard to imagine what a stage five might look like," he said.
"But it would radically change the way people live. Not just rules on when and where you can go shopping, but restrictions on going shopping at all.
"This will be hard. It'll be frustrating. For a lot of workers and their families, it'll be heartbreaking."