Liquor & Gaming NSW has fined two venues for COVID-19 safety breaches.

Royal Hotel in Ryde received a $5000 fine for failing to produce a safety plan to uniformed inspectors and not having a COVID safety marshal on duty.

The venue also allowed patrons to stand in groups while consuming alcohol and staff were not supervising the gaming area.

“In addition, some of the systems were simply not COVID safe – for example, gaming machines were not spaced apart,” says Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres.

“Overall there was little attempt to manage physical distancing inside the venue,” says Argeres. “Inspectors observed that customers could go in and out as they pleased, undermining the ability for authorities to conduct effective contact tracing.”

The Auburn Hotel has also copped a $5000 fine for failing to have a safety plan in place, improper record keeping and issues with distancing between gaming machines.

Inspectors observed missing and illegible contact details on a paper register and found the safety plan on display was insufficient.

“The pub wasn’t registered as a COVID Safe Business and was not creating a digital record of its customers,” says Argeres.

NSW venues must adhere to new regulations which include:

  • Registering as a COVID Safe Business
  • Limiting bookings to 10
  • Implementing a COVID Safety plan
  • Creating a digital record of customer details within 24 hours
  • Having a dedicated COVID-Safe hygiene marshal on duty at all times
  • 300 patron limit for large venues

Authorities will continue to crack down on venues to stop the spread of COVID-19, with inspector numbers boosted.

In addition to Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors, SafeWork and Fair Trading staff will also be conducting inspections.

Inspectors can conduct uniformed or undercover inspections.

“Businesses must be part of the solution if they want to stay open and look after their communities,” says Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello.

“Right now if they haven’t downloaded a COVID-19 Safety plan and registered as a COVID Safe Business they are contravening the Public Health Orders and could face a $5000 fine and then closure.”

Businesses that receive a second offence will be forced to close for one week, with a third offence resulting in a shutdown for up to one month.

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Image credit: PUBTic

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