'LEAVE': Cafe patrons heckle police officers enforcing Covid rules

·3-min read

A Brisbane cafe owner has been fined over a Covid-19 breach after video emerged of patrons heckling police officers carrying out compliance checks.

In footage obtained by 9News, three police officers were told to leave The Vintage Apron cafe at Capalaba Shopping Centre on Wednesday as a crowd surrounded them.

Patrons were heard chanting "leave the shop" when police officers entered, responding to reports the cafe was not complying with Covid-19 restrictions.

A screenshot from video of Brisbane police officers wearing masks with people behind them filming them at The Vintage Apron.
Police officers were forced out of the cafe in Queensland. Source: Channel Nine

Fine issued over Covid violations

In the video, one officer can be heard saying, "The question I want to ask you, we're gonna have to put in a report why people aren't wearing masks here", to a man behind the counter.

One person says "don't answer it" as the officer asks the man about staff vaccinations.

Customers in the cafe are seen continuing to harass the officers who remained calm.

"You guys have broken your law by your oath that you serve the community, which is us," the man behind the counter says in the video.

A Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed officers conducted a compliance check at a Capalaba business and a 53-year-old man was issued with $1378 fine for failing to comply with a public health direction.

"Social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, using the check-in app and vaccinations are keys to protecting our families, friends, neighbours and the community during this global pandemic," the spokesperson said.

Dozens of cafe patrons seen as some film the unfolding drama at The Vintage Apron on their phones.
Some people film the unfolding drama on their phones. Source: 9News

"With Covid-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading throughout Queensland now is the time to remain vigilant and adhere to the safety precautions, and not the time to wind back. "

The spokesperson said South Brisbane District police would be conducting compliance checks on businesses.

"We will not hesitate to take enforcement action when necessary," they said.

"While we take an educational and common-sense approach, we will issue fines for blatant disregarding of the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO) directions."

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said this type of behaviour towards police officers would not be tolerated.

“That type of behaviour demonstrated towards our police is totally unacceptable and I'm sure the vast majority of Queenslanders will join me in deploring it,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our Queensland Police Service are working hard… every single day through Covid, through general community safety initiatives and they deserve our praise and accolades and thanks."

Yahoo News Australia has contacted The Vintage Apron for comment.

Queensland introduces new mask rule

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced on Saturday masks would need to be worn in "virtually all indoor spaces except when eating and drinking or when undertaking strenuous activity" from 1am (local time) on Sunday to "slow the growing rate of new cases".

The rule, after the state recorded a jump in cases, required masks in workplaces unless it's unsafe to do so.

It also included pubs, clubs and cafes except when seated; indoor stadiums and sports arenas; libraries; hairdressers and nail salons; and waiting rooms at medical centres.

Masks were already required in supermarkets and shops, public transport, ride shares, airports and on planes, cinemas and theatres.

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