Border businesses are struggling to fill shifts as the rising COVID cases force staff into isolation, with one owner saying the situation is worse than lockdown.
Bended Elbow owner Gavin Grant has 20 per cent of his staff in isolation either because they are symptomatic or have been close contacts of a COVID case.
"It's hard, we haven't shut yet but when you lose four people it's a lot and they don't even know if they're positive or not," he said.
"It's worse than what it was in lockdown because we had plenty of staff then, now four staff out of 20 people are isolating. It's a lot to lose.
"Obviously lockdown was bad in different ways, but when you've got a good business but can't fill it with staff because of self isolation, it's tough."
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Zed Bar's Brian Grenfell said there's also an additional cost to business when having to provide staff with rapid antigen tests.
"Some staff have been contacted about being casual contacts of a case," he said. "It is a tremendous pressure.
"All other staff have to pick shifts up and we need a certain amount of staff to run a venue of this size, so if we don't have the staff we'll need to look at reducing our numbers."
Essential Ingredient owner and chair of Albury Business Connect Barry Young said some businesses were struggling to keep their doors open.
"It feels like the noose tightening a little bit for businesses," he said. "Everyone is a bit worried about having isolation issues with staff, it feels like it's starting to bite businesses."
Mr Young said the mood was reminiscent of lockdowns.
"The uncertainly has returned, no one can plan effectively," he said.
"The feeling is it's inevitable that team members or owners will be impacted at some point. It feels like a matter of not of if, but when."
Mr Young said the shortage of rapid antigen tests and long queues of PCR testing had made the situation worse as many staff members have been unable to get tested, delaying their return to work.
Australian Industry Group's Tim Farrah said COVID cases and isolation requirements were playing havoc in the transport industry.
"Pretty well every sector at moment is being impacted by staff shortages and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better with the rising number of cases and an inability for people getting tested," he said.
"People, rightly so, are being cautious and not going to work if they're got any sort of symptoms.
"The transport sector is being really heavily impacted... they're struggling to get drivers. Some transport businesses are estimating 30 or 50 per cent of staff can't attend because they've either got COVID or are waiting for test results."
The issue is affecting large companies including Coles and Woolworths who have been hit with supply chain issues and worker shortages.
"We have been working with our suppliers and other stakeholders to address a number of supply chain issues including availability of shipping pallets and transport capacity, to ensure we can continue to provide our customers with the food and drinks they need," a Coles spokesman said.
"We are also seeing an increased number of team members being required to isolate due to household exposure to COVID while they wait for test results."
Woolworths expect product availability to improve in coming weeks.
"We're currently experiencing delays with some stock deliveries to our stores due to the impacts of COVID-19 across the food and grocery supply chain," a Woolworths statement said
"As a result, our stores may have reduced availability of some products at points throughout the day before they receive their next delivery. Deliveries continue to arrive daily and we're doing all we can with our suppliers to restock our shelves as quickly as possible, with a particular focus on fresh food and essentials lines."
Mr Farrah said the situation is likely to settle down when RATs become more readily available on the Border towards the end of the month.
"It's going make a messy next three or four weeks," he said.
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