Businesses in COVID-19 suburbs have shut up shop while neighbours across the road operate as normal. The rules have divided locals with many left confused.
Businesses in COVID-19 suburbs have shut up shop while neighbours across the road operate as normal. The rules have divided locals with many left confused.

This is life inside Australia's no-go virus zones

There was an eerie air in the city's north on Friday morning with streets once again deserted as a result of the new coronavirus restrictions.

Businesses in "hotspot" suburbs have shut up shop or been left operating at a lesser capacity, while their neighbours across the road operate as normal.

Locals in Brunswick huddled inside coffee shops, sipping coffee from the warmth of their favourite spot.

But just a few hundred metres away, customers at stores in Brunswick West were forced to wait outside.

The rules have divided locals with many left confused about where they are allowed to go.

Others have shrugged off the changes as necessary.

Digi Deveshwar, owner of Lolo and Wren. The cafe is in a lockdown hotspot. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Digi Deveshwar, owner of Lolo and Wren. The cafe is in a lockdown hotspot. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

Digi Deveshwar, who owns cafe Lolo and Wren in Brunswick West, said he was frustrated stores around the corner could have sit-down customers.

"Having to go through this while others can still operate, it is a bit of a downturn for us," he said.

"Now customers have the option to drive another half a kilometre down there, and treat themselves to a dine-in meal.

"I think what that creates is a risk for us to lose some of our loyal customers."

Ashley Dungan with guide dog puppy Ocean at Lolo and Wren. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Ashley Dungan with guide dog puppy Ocean at Lolo and Wren. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

Local Ashley Dungan, 30, grabbed her morning takeaway at the store on Friday and said it was a small price to pay to keep the community safe.

"I'm all for it," she said.

"Why risk it. People are dying from this (virus) - it's a small sacrifice to make and for me it's no hassle."

Just off Sydney Road in Brunswick, about 20 patrons gathered for coffee at eatery Code Black.

Brunswick locals Faisal and Alex at Code Black. The cafe is not in the lockdown hotspot. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Brunswick locals Faisal and Alex at Code Black. The cafe is not in the lockdown hotspot. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

The store is operating under strict social distancing rules, but customers are free to sit and enjoy their brew.

Operations manager Brad Davis said it was nice to be able to welcome locals again.

He said he felt for stores across the border who were again doing it tough.

"We've been really strict (anyway) - and the majority of people have been understanding of that," he said.

"But I think if we can all do the best we can, first and foremost we're protecting staff and customers and the business comes with that too," he said.

Stores are much quieter in the lockdown suburbs, including Dallas. Picture: Getty
Stores are much quieter in the lockdown suburbs, including Dallas. Picture: Getty

 

An empty bench outside a closed pizza shop in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty
An empty bench outside a closed pizza shop in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty

 

 

Originally published as Life inside Melbourne's no-go virus zones

The normally bustling shops in Dallas on Thursday. Picture: Getty
The normally bustling shops in Dallas on Thursday. Picture: Getty
It was equally quiet in the Olsen Place shopping village in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty
It was equally quiet in the Olsen Place shopping village in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty
An eerily quiet street in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty
An eerily quiet street in Broadmeadows. Picture: Getty
A man enters the Broadmeadows Central shopping centre. Shopping for food is one of only four reasons people are allowed to leave their homes in the lockdown suburbs. Picture: Getty
A man enters the Broadmeadows Central shopping centre. Shopping for food is one of only four reasons people are allowed to leave their homes in the lockdown suburbs. Picture: Getty

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