On Wednesday morning, Bostijan Savle was looking forward to the prospect of allowing more people into his cafe.
Yet by Wednesday afternoon, those prospects had been scuppered after the ACT recorded three new confirmed cases of COVID-19, putting the easing of coronavirus restrictions on hold.
Mr Savle, who owns the cafe Bean & Table on the Kingston Foreshore, said although it would be longer until cafes and restaurants could reopen to pre-virus levels, the move by the government to postpone the changes was the right decision.
"We have to make sure we maintain the safety of the community," Mr Savle said.
"If COVID-19 starts rampaging through Canberra once again, we'll be in a far worse spot than what we are at the moment."
The proposed changes, which would've come into effect from midday on Friday, would have expanded the number of people allowed in smaller indoor venues.
However, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the changes would be postponed after three new cases of coronavirus, all from the same home, were detected in Canberra on Wednesday.
Two of three new cases had arrived in Canberra from a known virus hotspot in Melbourne, while the third was a household contact.
Small venues would have been able to have up to 25 people per indoor area or one person per four square metres, whichever was greater. The change was one of several which was set to come in from later in the week, including having outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people. Mr Salve said those changes would have meant a small increase in the number of people that would be allowed in, increasing from around 15 to 25 people.
However, the cafe owner said the inconvenience of waiting for additional customers paled in comparison to the impact of coronavirus, should case numbers rise again in the ACT.
"We're still cautious watching things happening in Melbourne, and all it takes is for one person to slip through," Mr Salve said.
"It's better to bring restrictions back and maintain it rather than ease them and then in a month you have to shut down."
Fellow cafe owner Daniel Conroy, who operates the Knox in Watson, said a cautious approach was needed in going forward. "We don't want to do what Victoria has done and we don't want to step backwards," Mr Conroy said.
Further changes to coronavirus restrictions in the ACT would have led to a one-person-per-two-square-metre rule coming into effect.
However, the Chief Minister said those measures won't come into effect for some time.