"It's tragic, mate."
In those three words, Cabbage Tree Hotel licencee Brad Young said what his regulars and pub goers around the state felt when the doors in the state's watering holes shut at noon on Monday.
Mr Young said the regulars got a few shouts to say thanks for being loyal.
"It was like the last rites [for the locals]," he said.
"From their perspective, it becomes a staple, coming to the pub and having a beer and a feed. That's just been taken away for however many weeks."
As well as the Cabbage Tree Hotel at Fairy Meadow, Mr Young also had the Bomaderry Hotel and Postmans Tavern in Nowra.
There were more than 100 people working across those three venues - most of whom are now out of a job.
At the Cabbage Tree Mr Young is hopeful of staying open in some form - to give some staff a few shifts - until things get better.
"We're hopeful we can still do food and beverage takeaway including home deliveries, he said.
"You'll be able to ring up and order a burger or a schnitzel and pick up a six-pack."
Mr Young couldn't fathom the government's decision to focus on pubs and clubs but leave other businesses open.
"It's like being half-pregnant," he said. "You're shutting down one industry while allowing others to continue. It just doesn't make any sense at all."
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