Millions warned of fines amid growing Sydney cluster

·2-min read
Police walk the streets, silhouette of busy restaurant.
Sydneysiders and businesses have been urged to follow the rules. (Images: Getty).

Sydney businesses have been warned that failure to comply with the latest COVID-19 rules will result in hefty fines, as the Bondi cluster continues to worry authorities.

Hospitality businesses are now required to have no more than one person per four square metre, while customers are also required to stay seated while drinking and eating.

Singing and dancing is also banned in restaurants, and staff are required to wear a mask while working. Patrons are also required to check in to all hospitality venues, and businesses are required to use the Service NSW QR code system.

“It is critically important that all people visiting hospitality venues must remember to check-in using the Service NSW QR Code,” Liquor & Gaming NSW acting compliance director Darren Duke said on Friday.

“The COVID-Safe requirements are in place for an important reason, and all venues need to make sure they are fully compliant.”

Liquor & Gaming will visit hospitality venues across Sydney over the coming days to check that businesses aren’t cutting corners.

Around 40 inspectors will begin today, with businesses in Bondi and surrounds the first target.

“Venues not complying with the Public Health Orders pose a clear and significant risk to public health and any venues found breaching the rules may be subject to a fine or in serious cases could face a closure of their venue,” Duke said.

Liquor & Gaming has conducted more than 200 inspections in the last two months and has issued 14 fines worth $40,000.

Bondi cluster a growing concern as police ramp up action

There are now more than 180 locations listed as COVID case locations including supermarkets, hair salons, gyms and dozens of cafes and restaurants.

NSW Police have issued some 150 cautions to people not wearing masks in indoor settings and on public transport, with NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys flagging tougher action against people failing to comply.

“We are moving much further into a compliance and enforcement regime around the order rather than a simple education response to people,” the deputy commissioner said on Thursday.

“There are clearly people now who want to be mischievous or simply want to go beyond the order.

“Those people will be spoken to by police and will be issued with a penalty notice rather than given the option of a caution.”

He said police will be monitoring compliance in hospitality venues and on public transport.

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Image: Yahoo Finance