A Northern Rivers pub will close for a week after breaching COVID regulations. . Picture: iStock
A Northern Rivers pub will close for a week after breaching COVID regulations. . Picture: iStock

‘WE’RE SORRY’: Pub closed over COVID breaches

SHAWS Bay Hotel has apologised to patrons after being closed down for a week for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

The post blamed the noncompliance "a small element of patrons".

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The hotel closed at 5am today after "repeated" COVID-19 safety breaches, resulting in two $5000 fines.



The hotel posted: "To our valued customers, due to non compliance of COVID-19 regulations by a small element of patrons we have been forced to a mandatory shutdown by NSW Health for a period of one week from Saturday October 17 to October 24".

"Brendan and staff wish to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you."

NSW Police referred the matter to Liquor & Gaming NSW when they identified 12 breaches of the Public Health Orders, as well as intoxication, across two visits on September 27 and October 4.

The breaches included:

• COVID safety marshal not enforcing the COVID-19 Safety Plan

• group bookings exceeding the 10-person limit

• no physical distancing between queues inside at the bar and outside the venue

• patrons mingling between tables and in queue

• alcohol being consumed while standing

• patrons walking around and dancing

• intoxicated people being served alcohol and mingling with other patrons.

Liquor & Gaming director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres warned against complacency and said the hotel's ongoing noncompliance with social distancing obligations presented a serious risk to public safety.

"The Shaws Bay Hotel had ample warning to tighten up their game, given they were visited and fined twice," Mr Argeres said.

"During their visits, police officers observed frequent examples of customers mingling between different groups and tables.

"They also observed an intoxicated patron mingle between six different groups and tables in various areas of the premises and patrons walking about freely mingling in all areas of the hotel while drinking and dancing.

"These scenes do not reflect businesses' obligations under pandemic conditions so the next step at this point, to ensure public safety, is a seven-day closure.

"It is clear the ongoing operation of the premises could endanger public health, particularly given a potential increase in patronage over the weekend around the Northern Rivers Rugby League grand final."

The Shaws Bay Hotel will be closed for seven days from 5am Saturday October 17 until 5am Saturday October 24 under the Public Health Act 2010.

It is the third NSW venue to be closed for a week following the closure of Unity Hall Hotel in Rozelle and the Rivers Inn Restaurant in Thredbo last month.

Over the past two weeks, Liquor & Gaming, NSW Fair Trading and SafeWork NSW have conducted 311 hospitality venue inspections and found almost 100 per cent compliance.

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