A bar and restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Leichardt has been hit with a $10,000 fine for Covid safety breaches after CCTV footage showed large groups of patrons mingling and dancing in multiple locations around the venue.
The action against Odyssey Bar Restaurant was announced yesterday as a team of 30 inspectors from the NSW Department of Customer Service returned to south-west Sydney yesterday for a second coronavirus safety blitz after almost 100 breaches were detected at local hospitality businesses last Friday.
Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors also visited pubs and clubs screening the second State of Origin rugby league game last night to check for compliance with the health regulations.
Patrons filmed mingling and dancing
The fine for the Odyssey venue came after Liquor & Gaming NSW visited the venue and watched CCTV footage from last month showing patrons mingling, dancing and hugging across several areas.
Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said there was a complete disregard for social distancing, resulting in two $5,000 fines being issued to the venue.
“It’s hard to fathom how staff could have failed to notice and stop things getting out of hand as patrons had in effect created multiple dancefloors,” Argeres stated.
Department of Customer Service inspectors returned to south-west Sydney yesterday after 94 breaches were found at around 32 hospitality venues in Liverpool during the one-day blitz on Friday, resulting in over 25 penalty notices and thousands of dollars in fines.
Pre-festive season compliance checks
The inspections were part of a joint programme conducted by Liquor & Gaming NSW, SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading, with support from NSW Food Authority and NSW Health. These agencies are working together to conduct a series of compliance checks for safety breaches in the lead-up to the festive season.
Argeres said of the 74 hospitality venues inspected, 13 were not registered as Covid Safe, 39 did not have a current safety plan, 20 had issues with record keeping, seven were not properly adhering to social distancing, two displayed hygiene issues and 13 had no COVID-19 safety marshal.
“Such a high level of breaches is simply unacceptable and puts at risk all the hard work in containing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.