Mascot fruit shop temporarily closed due to COVID Public Health Order breaches

Pete’s Organic Market in Mascot has been ordered to close for a week from today for serial COVID Public Health Order (PHO) safety breaches across repeat visits from police.

NSW Police responded to numerous complaints about the fruit shop between 4 and 21 July, for PHO breaches. The owner of the store, after receiving several warnings, was issued a penalty infringement notice on 4 July for not wearing a fitted face covering in retail business and not ensuring hospitality worker was wearing a fitted face mask.

Following further complaints from the community, police were again called to the store where they spoke to the owner and an employee who both refused to comply with the current health orders. They were subsequently charged with not wearing a fitted face covering in retail business. Both men were granted conditional bail and appeared at Downing Centre Local Court on Monday 19 July 2021.

On Wednesday 21 July 2021, officers attended the same store and observed there were no QR codes displayed or available for customers to use. The owner of the store was arrested and taken to Mascot Police Station where he was charged with breaching the PHO. He was granted conditional bail and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 12 August 2021.

SafeWork NSW’s Director WHS Metro Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said it is disappointing the seriousness of the issue isn’t getting through to some businesses.

“This fruit store has consistently failed to maintain COVID safety standards by not wearing masks or having a QR code, showing a blatant disregard for the safety of the community,” Mr Argeres said.

“It is clear that the ongoing operation of this business presents a significant risk to public health and needs to be sent a strong message.

“All businesses must do the right thing to keep their customers safe and help stop the spread. There is no excuse for not complying with these requirements. Any business that repeatedly fails to comply with the Public Health Orders faces temporary closure.”

The Pete’s Organic Market will be closed for seven days from 27 July 2021.

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