Chinese restaurants in the Bay of Plenty are having a tough time attracting customers in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak overseas.
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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were no confirmed coronavirus cases in New Zealand but still believed it was likely New Zealand would get a case "at some point".
Rotorua's Spring Festival Dumpling manager, Benson Chen, said there had been a drop in customer numbers since the overseas outbreak compared to the same time last year.
This drop was in both local customers and tourists.
He said a significant amount of the business's income came from Chinese tourists who bought expensive dishes while on holiday, as local customers tended to buy cheaper, day-to-day meals.
During the beginning of the outbreak overseas, he said customers and staff alike were nervous about the possibility of catching the virus.
But now the situation had settled, so had the fears of staff but he said local customers had still seemed to stay away.
Benson said customers told him they did not worry about the risk of catching the virus after having a quick chat with him.
"Everyone has the right to decide what to eat ... [but] our health is fine and we will still be working."
Meanwhile, Tauranga's Sichuan Style Restaurant manager, Rebecca Rong, said the business was also feeling the loss of Chinese customers.
Before the outbreak, around 60 per cent of customers were locals, while 40 per cent were Chinese visitors.
Now, around 90 per cent were local and the number of Chinese patrons had shrunk to 10 per cent.
Rong said the Chinese tourism slump had caused a 10 to 20 per cent drop in the restaurant's income as these patrons would order a large variety and number of dishes.
Chinese New Zealanders had also shied away from eating out, for fear of catching the virus, Rong believed.
She had not noticed a drop in local people visiting and the restaurant still enjoyed office workers and other diners keeping the joint busy.
Rong, whose parents are in China, said restaurant staff were pedantic about hygiene.
Multiple bottles of hand sanitiser were in the restrooms and on the front counter, while the kitchen and bathroom were cleaned thoroughly every day.
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty regional manager Alan Sciascia said he had not heard from any businesses experiencing problems in his area.
Since there were no infections in New Zealand, he said, the public should not be concerned and should go about their lives as normal.