Footy finals flag COVID safety reminders

Department of Customer Service

Footy fans are being urged to stay COVID safe this weekend when heading to local bars and pubs to watch the NRL and AFL grand finals.

Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said while some COVID restrictions have been eased, it’s still vital to check into venues and refrain from mingling, queueing closely with others, and drinking while standing.

“If you’re heading to your local pub or club to watch the big games, it’s going to be an exciting weekend, but don’t let your guard down and risk yourself or your community,” Mr Argeres said.

“We still need to limit our proximity to others and make sure our details are available if NSW Health needs to get in contact with us.”

Group bookings now allow for 30 people instead of 10, and patron capacity doubles to one person per two square metres for outdoor areas.

The footy finals weekend provides a big boost to the state’s economy and marks an important calendar event for fans as well as hospitality businesses.

However, with the hospitality industry under strict operating conditions, inspectors from Liquor and Gaming will be making sure the current Public Health Orders are understood and in action.

The AFL grand final between Richmond and Geelong takes place tonight in Brisbane, while Penrith and Melbourne battle for NRL supremacy at ANZ Stadium Homebush tomorrow night.

“Inspectors are visiting venues across the state this weekend and will be in and around Homebush and the stadium on Sunday,” Mr Argeres said.

“Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants should be offering digital check in options such as the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in and they need their COVID safety marshals to stay on the ball when it comes to mingling.

“Likewise, if you visit a venue – play by their rules and don’t put them in a position where they are going to get a fine.

“Check in, sit down at your table, don’t stand shoulder to shoulder at the bar or in queues, and use the sanitiser whenever you go past it.”

Inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW, NSW Fair Trading and SafeWork NSW have now conducted 5,605 COVID safety visits, issued 185 penalties worth $817,000 and temporarily closed three businesses.

/Public Release.