Summer could be a double-edged sword for Illawarra cafes and restaurants as an influx of tourists will boost business, but may also bring unwanted nasties.
Sunny weather over the weekend enticed hoards of people to the coast, including Kiama, though some shop owners say it's mostly "out-of-towners" who refuse COVID-safe protocols.
Excuses like "it'll ruin my nails" have been heard by Melanie Hamill when asking customers to sanitise, or groups simply walking away because they think they won't have to sign-in elsewhere.
The owner of Scoops Ice-Creamery in Kiama said initially businesses were haphazard with regulations and no-one wanted to follow the rules, but things were improving.
"When police did a crack-down [a month ago], people started taking it more seriously," she said. "If we get one case then we're closed, and I didn't want any loved ones getting ill."
Her husband Anthony Varayiannis is the safety marshall at their cafe, and wears a fluro pink vest - something local police have commended them for, as well as their safety practices.
Kiama Mayor Mark Honey said the town experienced a stark increase of visitors when restrictions first relaxed, but it was problematic.
"The first days travel restrictions were eased, we had more traffic and more people here than we had in the middle of summer during school holidays," Cr Honey said. "The town was totally gridlocked. I've never seen it quite as bad as that."
He said council had worked closely with businesses to ensure they had COVID-safety plans, but said there were still questions around who would police beaches or public areas to ensure social distancing.
Licensee of the Kiama Inn Hotel Lionel Boekenstein said 90 per cent of patrons were happy to comply, but it was mostly visitors accounting for those who'd "turn around and walk out".
"They don't want to sign in - whether they've got something to hide or they're just paranoid or think it's big brother," Mr Boekenstein said.
Wollongong Councillor Leigh Colacino is also on the board of tourism body Destination Wollongong and said he'd been part of discussions about how they would cope with the influx of tourists this summer.
He said while it was evident some people were getting restrictions-fatigue, the city couldn't tell tourists not to come
"It's a new reality we have to live with," Cr Colacino said.
"You're still welcome in Wollongong, but these are the rules we you need to abide by if you want to come and have your play time in the Wollongong area."