Sydney pub cops $10,000 COVID fine
A Sydney pub has copped a $10,000 fine for breaching COVID-safe regulations three times.
The Phoenix Hotel in Woollahra is the latest hospitality venue to be issued with a double fine after it was found in breach of distancing rules and other safety measures.
When Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors visited the pub for a third time this week after previously visiting twice in June, they found COVID safety still below standard and issued a total of $10,000 in fines.
Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said the escalating approach to non-compliance meant repeated violations could result in venues being shut down.
"When we visited venues in June, we provided education and advice. Now when we return, we want to see that they've turned things around," Mr Argeres said in a statement on Saturday.
"The Phoenix Hotel should have been aware of their sign-in obligations and spacing between chairs, tables and patrons.
"If you've been visited by us already, you're not off the hook - we will show up again and we will have higher expectations the next time around," he said.
Liquor & Gaming, SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading completed 896 inspections during a blitz over the past two weeks and fined 31 hospitality venues.
Compliance failures were mainly related to inadequate sign-in procedures and record keeping, out of date COVID-19 Safety Plans and issues with hygiene and physical distancing.
Inspectors from the three agencies have so far handed out 90 fines to hospitality businesses, worth $361,000.
Around 64 per cent of fines have gone to licensed cafes and restaurants and 24 per cent to pubs, hotels and small bars.
"The COVID safe requirements are there for a reason. All venues, particularly those we have previously visited, need to make sure they are fully compliant," Mr Argeres said.
More than 76,000 NSW businesses are now registered as COVID safe - it is a mandatory requirement for hospitality venues.
© AAP 2020