The far reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic became very personal for one of the city's best known citizens this week.
Mercury columnist, coffee shop owner and former councillor Brian Burke was stopped from attending his own niece's funeral on Thursday due to the new regulations introduced by the Federal Government just earlier that day.
The Morrison Government announced a range of new restrictions to help limit the coronavirus spread which kicked in on Thursday morning - one of which was no crowds of more than 100 people at indoor gatherings.
"I was working in the coffee shop and we were flat out," Burke explained.
"I rushed out and made it to my niece Kylie Atmore's funeral at Fry Brothers at Rutherford with just a few minutes to spare, but then I wasn't allowed to go in.
"There were already 95 people inside and with five representatives from the funeral parlour, that was the 100 people limit. I had to stay out front."
Burke said he wasn't alone and that there would have been another 50 or 60 people outside.
"The new restrictions had only just come in and I just didn't think of it in those terms," he said.
"None of us have ever had to think this way before. It's all so new."
The former deputy mayor pointed out that former Rugby League great Don 'Bandy' Adams had a huge crowd of about 500 at his funeral at Scone a week earlier.
"Can you imagine if they had only let 100 in back then? They would have been lined up down the street.," Burke said.
He was quick to point out that none of this was any fault of Fry Brothers.
"They were as apologetic as they could possibly be," he said. "They have to operate under these conditions, so I have no ill will towards them whatsoever.
"I'm only coming forward because I want people to understand the implications of this. To realise that these restrictions could affect them in ways they haven't even considered."
On the positive side, Burke attended the wake at Maitland Park Bowling Club where he caught up with friends and family members and was able to explain his absence. "They all understood, it was all good."