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Queenstown businesses are in crisis, with the Chamber of Commerce saying most expect to close within a week.
The carnage has been sparked by the number of Covid-19 cases and close contacts having to go into self-isolation.
The number of active cases in the Queenstown-Lakes region reached 41 as of yesterday - the highest anywhere in the South Island.
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce CEO Ruth Stokes told Kate Hawkesby things are dire.
She's suggesting workers might rort the system.
“This is people being able to ring up their mates and say ‘hey shall I call you as a close contact and we can stay at home?’ Labour shortages were acute before this and this chaos is coming to town near you.”