A Sydney bar has been fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions after an image of hundreds of people lining up to enter was posted online.
The Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay was fined $5,500 for allowing a large queue of patrons to gather outside of the popular bar on Wednesday night.
NSW is still currently under COVID-19 restrictions state that the capacity for licensed venues must not exceed one customer per four square metres of space, meaning patrons are required to wait outside if a venue is full.
Liquor & Gaming NSW estimate at least 250 people were lined up in the image originally posted on a Sydney forum on reddit.
‘Bars need to remain vigilant’
“We are treating this matter extremely seriously. Venues should be aware that Liquor & Gaming NSW conducts both overt and covert inspections to check for compliance with COVID restrictions,” Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Dimitri Argeres said in a statement.
“With the potential for new cases of COVID 19 to emerge in NSW, we need all businesses including hotels and clubs to be constantly vigilant in checking that patrons are observing the rules,” he continued.
NSW Police also confirmed officers were called to disperse a large crowd of people waiting to gain entry to the venue after receiving multiple reports from the public. The pub said they cooperated with officers to disperse the crowd “immediately”.
Under NSW public health orders, hotels must have a COVID safe plan which must be enforced at each premises and include measures to manage gatherings that may occur outside the venue.
‘We need to pay more attention’
CEO of the Solotel Group, Justine Baker responded to the fine in a statement on The Golden Sheaf’s website, stating they understood and accepted the fine.
“While we had put in place strict social distancing and COVID-Safe measures inside the Golden Sheaf and all of our venues since re-opening, Wednesday night showed us that we need to pay more attention to our guests and the queues outside the venue as well,” Ms Baker said.
The Sydney bar said it would be employing more security and staff to limit queues to a maximum of 20 patrons at one time, as well and introducing a bookings only policy on Wednesdays from 8pm onwards.
Ms Baker also denied reports that the pub had been offering discount drink promotions on Wednesday evenings encouraging the large crowds.
“Reports of The Golden Sheaf offering discount drinks promotions on Wednesday night are false. We have not offered social media drink promotions since the start of COVID,” Ms Baker said.
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