The streets of Barton would usually be teeming with lanyards on a sunny Friday afternoon but as Canberra entered its first day of lockdown, they were stripped of life.
Four cases of Covid were detected in Canberra on Thursday, sending the nation's capital into a snap seven-day lockdown from 5pm. A further two were added to the tally on Friday.
The majority of public servants were ordered to work from home for the period as authorities worked to limit the spread of the contagious Delta variant.
But the businesses that keep government workers fuelled on coffee and toasties throughout the week have once again been left behind.
Barton concept restaurant Vincent had just eight customers on Friday by lunch, owner Hanna Kim said.
She said it would usually be fully booked for the lunch service at this time.
A week or two of lockdown would be manageable but she would struggle with paying the high rent if it lasted any longer than that, she said.
"I think seven days [of lockdown] is OK for me because we actually have had a pretty good run," Ms Kim said.
"But more than that is really hard to imagine."
Ms Kim said she knows everyone's going through similar difficulties so she'll wait and hope it gets resolved soon.
"Everybody is having difficult times so I can't complain about it," she said.
"Dealing with COVID is the most important thing for now."
Nearby Barton Grocer also felt the brunt of lockdown day one.
Owner Domenic Costanzo said the grocery store would usually have nearly 100 people in, wanting coffee or buying liquor for the weekend.
But at 1pm on Friday, staff outnumbered customers by three to one.
"We've got a few residents across the road but there's not a lot. We rely on the public servants, so it's been hard for us. Really hard," Mr Costanzo said.
"It's just dead. We have two customers in here right now, maybe a third at the most.
"It's gonna hurt but you've just got to keep going, I guess."
Lockdown Day 1
In Civic, ACT public servants were also nowhere to be seen.
While many had continued to enjoy working-from-home flexibility, the sudden lockdown has sent nearly everyone back home at once.
Other major public service hubs, including Tuggeranong and Belconnen, are also littered with small businesses that rely on the foot traffic of hungry government workers.
"Last year during lockdown, all the suburbs stores increased probably 20 per cent whereas we went down probably 40 per cent," Mr Costanzo said.
It adds the pressure on at home too with three young kids.
"My little one was crying this morning, he said 'don't go to work because I don't want you to get sick'," he said.
So for now, he's just putting his head down and hoping the lockdown will be over after seven days.
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