Ballarat's hotel and accommodation industry is being urged to hold on and continue doing the right thing, amid concerns about people from restricted areas trying to stay in town.
There are very few people allowed to leave the metropolitan Melbourne area, and restrictions that apply there follow them - that means permitted workers, intimate partners, singles bubbles, and others must stay home unless for one of the five reasons.
There have been some reports of people being turned away from Ballarat accommodation venues, often with online reservations.
The industry has been gutted with rolling lockdowns keeping tourists away, but staff across Ballarat have been diligent in checking for IDs.
Sovereign Park Motor Inn's Tim Canny said the onus needed to be on people seeking accommodation, and providers needed to stay vigilant.
"We're proactive, we call our guests prior to arriving if we don't already know their postcode," he said.
"That's my advice, call them before they leave home or when they make the reservation, get their phone numbers and call them right away so that everyone can be made aware of the situation, and the fact of whether or not they can stay."
He said attacks on online booking websites weren't appropriate, as many were international providers covering hundreds of jurisdictions, but he suggested making it mandatory for people booking to provide their postcode.
"That would make managing reservations for the operators much more peace of mind, it would save us some work," he said.
"It could save a lot of heartache for the guests."
While his business has hosted some essential workers through lockdown, Mr Canny noted it was "miserable" for them, unable to leave their rooms apart from work.
"We have to be kind and they shouldn't be looked upon as people doing the wrong thing, they're allowed to be here," he said.
"Be kind and accommodate them as best we can in this difficult situation - our attitude's got to be really positive, we don't want to be seen as coming down too hard on innocent people just doing their job."
He held hope for travel from metropolitan Melbourne to reopen for tourists soon.
"Between lockdowns we're really strong, business is great, the demand is high, but as soon as Melbourne is thrown into lockdown we get a massive amount of cancellations, and we have to process a lot of refunds, and our staff lose a lot of hours," he said.
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"Unfortunately, it remains that way until Melbourne's out of lockdown - it's incredibly challenging because your fixed costs are there and it's hard to pay those fixed costs when there's not a lot coming in.
"It's tough going, it's hard on the staff as well, which is the biggest area that hurts, it's very difficult for them.
"It's incredibly challenging but we're a well-established business, we feel we'll get through this, personally I just hope I can hold onto every one of my staff."
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