Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says the recent COVID-19 cases linked to Huskisson are disappointing for the community and damage morale.
Her comments come after it was revealed two Sydneysiders infected with COVID-19 dined at the Wildginger restaurant in Huskisson on Saturday.
"It's disappointing, the Shoalhaven has gone so long without presentation of the disease and then this happens," Mayor Findley said.
"It has a really negative impact on the community and morale - there are a lot of people who are very scared and this obviously heightens their fear around what might be the future of the Shoalhaven.
"We need to pull back our fear and get back into good practice around social distancing, hygiene and mask wearing."
Mayor Findley acknowledged the community had concerns about where else the pair may have visited.
"That is an issue because people want to know where these people have been so they can avoid those possible places but the NSW Health advice to Shoalhaven City Council, at this stage, is to only talk about the Wildginger restaurant.
"My heart goes out to those people (at Wildginger) who were doing the right thing and trying to keep their business open and had qualified for the COVID safe measures."
During the bushfires, many tourists were told to "stay away" from the Shoalhaven.
It was a difficult message for the Mayor to deliver six months ago and this time around she hopes people do the right thing.
"Our businesses don't want the stay away message because it's an unfriendly message that no one wants to deliver.
"But we really need to interrogate ourselves when we get in a car and go somewhere.
"The message has been if you don't need to travel then don't travel - it's not a lockdown but it's asking people to travel carefully."