Authorities in New South Wales have moved quickly against a Sydney pub where around 250 customers were allowed to queue on the pavement outside the venue without any social distancing on Wednesday night.
NSW Liquor and Gaming has now imposed a fine of $5 500 on the Golden Sheaf Hotel, a popular venue in the suburb of Double Bay.
Authorities need to send a clear message to businesses
“We need to send a clear message to this business and others that if you are not doing the right thing you will be held to account, and we will escalate our enforcement actions for those who put the public at risk,” said Dimitri Argeres, Acting Director of Compliance for Liquor and Gaming, in a statement released on Friday afternoon.
He said inspectors had visited the venue on Thursday to review CCTV footage from the previous evening. He noted that it was the third time the regulator had inspected the pub.
“The first time we identified issues, which were resolved before our second visit. However, the situation on Wednesday night posed a serious risk to public health and an improvement notice was not appropriate,” he said.
Federal MP retweeted a photo of the crowds outside
On Wednesday evening the Federal MP for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, retweeted a photo of a long queue of people standing outside the venue.
“This behaviour is not okay”, he said in his post. “As the outbreak in Victoria has shown, COVID-19 can resurge easily. Pubs and patrons need to respect social distancing and other health measures, or we risk a similar outbreak in Sydney.”
In a statement released by the operator of the Golden Sheaf, Solotel Group, CEO Justine Baker said the group took take the safety of guests and staff very seriously.
“We will now be taking bookings only on Wednesday nights from 8pm and we will be employing extra staff and security to ensure social distancing is adhered to and we have a maximum of 20 people in our queues at any one time,” she said.