Venue operators across the country need to keep up-to-date with their COVID Safety Plans and respective state restrictions as venue inspections will continue.
That advice is particularly relevant in NSW after regulators said the department would remain diligent in ensuring venues stick to the rules, following the Lord Wolseley Hotel in Ultimo being fined $5000 plus $2400 in prosecutor costs for failing a COVID compliance inspection and missing two subsequent court appearances.
Liquor & Gaming NSW inspected the venue in September 2020 and found the director had not properly registered the venue as a COVID safe business, did not have in place the approved ‘pubs clubs small bars, breweries, casinos’ COVID safety plan and did not properly record entry times of patrons on manual sign in sheets.
The defendant subsequently elected to have the matter heard by the Court, however failed to appear before the Court on two occasions.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said: “NSW has done exceptionally well in keeping community transmission down and hospitality venues reap the rewards when restrictions are eased.
“What has not changed, is having robust, digital check in processes that allow for effective contact tracing in the event a positive case has visited the venue and a clear COVID Safety Plan in place protects staff, workers, customers and visitors.”
The Lord Wolseley Hotel is not a member of the Australian Hotels Association NSW and the association said that it keeps all its members up-to-date with all the current restrictions and operating requirements.
Inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW, NSW Fair Trading and SafeWork NSW have now conducted 9,783 COVID safety visits, issued 330 penalties worth $1,305,000 and temporarily closed four businesses.