A NSW-Victorian border publican is predicting a 50 per cent revenue hit over coming weeks due to new vaccination regulations.
Soden's Hotel's Brendan Tracey said more people were turned away than accepted on Monday, as NSW rules requiring he refuse entry to those not fully vaccinated came into effect.
"We had to call police on the first day," he said.
"We got him on his way before they arrived.
"I spoke to four publicans on Monday and all of them said it was the worst trading day they'd ever seen."
Mr Tracey said the rules were onerous and he was himself having difficulty getting a vaccination certificate despite being double-dosed.
"On Sunday, people were allowed in, on Monday, they weren't and then in six weeks' time, they're allowed back again," he said.
"We're over it, everyone's over it; it's been two years of this thing hanging over our heads and everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but then to be whacked with this stick is just cruel."
From Friday, unvaccinated Victorians cannot work outside of their homes, with an exception for those who are booked to receive their first dose by October 26.
Staff will need to be fully vaccinated by November 26.
For one undisclosed Wangaratta retailer, up to 50 per cent of staff are "hesitant to be vaccinated" and could be lost to the business.
The retailer contacted the office of Northern Victoria MP Tania Maxwell, who questioned Industry Support and Recovery Minister Martin Pakula in Parliament.
"There is no mandate that people entering their store have to be vaccinated because it supplies food," she said.
"The store can't deny entry to unvaccinated customers, but their staff will not be able to attend work, despite other COVID-safe measures being put into place.
"Minister, this business will struggle to advertise, interview, appoint and train new staff in one week.
"The COVID hotline told them to close their doors until this process is completed, but they couldn't tell them if they'd be given any financial assistance.
"So, what financial support will be given to this constituent and others in these circumstances?"
IN OTHER NEWS:
Business Wodonga chief executive Graham Jenkin said clarification was being sought from the Victorian government on what requirements were being planned for businesses to check customer vaccination status.
"There's been no detail to it; Chambers of Commerce right across Victoria wrote a letter jointly yesterday to government asking for that clarity," he said.
"What happens if you have an employee who refuses to be vaccinated and you need to stand them down, regarding unfair dismissals?
"There is fear of staff members being at risk of an angry patron."
Mr Jenkin said it was difficult for businesses looking at having to stand down long-standing staff.
"I'm not aware of anyone that's going to lose a huge amount of staff, but I've certainly talked to businesses that might have 15 staff and they've got one person (unvaccinated)," he said.
"It's certainly the minority of people that are against vaccination and despite how long they've been employed, they're having to be told, 'If you don't get vaccinated you'll no longer have a job'.
"They might be redeployed to roles where they won't be public-facing.
"The big issue for most businesses at the moment is the stress of it all."
Benambra MP Bill Tilley said the government hadn't committed to bringing forward eased restrictions set for October 26 even though the related 70 per cent milestone could be hit by Friday next week.
"Under Labor's rules at that point, you still can't have anyone at home, gyms are capped at 30 people and density limits apply, community sport is still training only; only 30 in your restaurant, cafe, pub or club and 30 allowed at a wedding or funeral.
"Look at NSW and already this week venues are only limited by density of one person to four square metres inside, one to two square metres in the open air, gyms are open, restaurants are open, 100 people at a wedding."