Wellington's highly rated restaurants are relieved to finally return after enduring a two-week shutdown but now have losses to make up for.
The mandatory isolation period for these businesses stomped on any efforts in compensating for previous lockdown losses.
Restaurants were forced to close shop and staff self-isolate for 14 days after an Australian tourist who dined at several eateries tested positive for Covid-19 on his return to Sydney.
Award-winning restaurant Highwater Eatery was one of the six restaurants included as a location of interest and remained shut due to staff shortage.
Co-owner Rachael Stevens said it is good to be back but it could take up to a month to recoup lost revenue.
After last year's lockdown damage and the arrival of winter when it gets quiet for restaurants the Covid scare was a financial hit.
The restaurant's staff of 16 was reduced to just five and with 11 members in isolation, Stevens had no choice but to keep its doors closed even after the city's return to alert level 1.
Stevens said the situation of closing for two weeks was not ideal and the possibility of getting Covid had employees in fear for their health and jobs.
"We were all feeling anxious while waiting for our covid results and isolating, particularly at this time around where not everyone was [isolating]", she said.
"May was really busy for us and with the help of the boost to local tourism and all the money that would go towards overseas travel is spent on local travel and dining.
Stevens said the activation of the Resurgence Support Payment was something but nowhere near enough to cover the $15,000 loss which does not include the loss of revenue.
"We passed on all the wage subsidies we received on to staff who were in isolation during the time or couldn't come to work due to Highwater being closed."
The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) offers payment assistance to businesses and organisations who are experiencing a reduction in their revenue due to an alert level increase.
Stevens says, there was a drop in everybody's, including the owners' income.
Floriditas, a popular brunch spot among locals and visitors, was able to reopen on June 28 from only 7am to 3pm rather than their normal breakfast, lunch and dinner hours after a complete shutdown of four days for deep cleaning.
Co-owner, Julie Clark said, within the two-week period they had lost 90 per cent of their revenue.
The majority of their full-time staff had to self-isolate and the shop was down to just three chefs committing to a six-day week along with their part-timers, Clarke said.
"It was difficult as we had very minimal staff, a skeleton crew. We got really lucky with it being the uni holidays," she said.
Clark said, the remaining staff rallied together and carried the weight while their full-timers were in isolation.
"It was very difficult but worth it for there to be no Covid in Wellington," she said.