Two more venues hit with $5,000 fines for COVID safety breaches

Department of Customer Service

The Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain and The Eastern Hotel in Bondi Junction are the latest venues to be fined $5,000 for breaching COVID public health orders.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors visited the Unity Hall on Wednesday and found several breaches including lack of social distancing between tables and chairs, an out-of-date safety plan and improper recording of patrons’ details.

The hotel failed to detail the time of entry for each patron in the physical sign-in register and was not digitising the register within 24 hours.

The Eastern Hotel has been fined for allowing gaming machine players to sit side-by-side.

Inspectors attended the hotel on Wednesday and viewed CCTV vision of two male patrons seated at gaming machines spaced less than 1.5 metres apart on Saturday 1 August, and a third patron sitting at an opposite bank in very close proximity to the others.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said the breach occurred only days after a previous inspection covered the social distancing procedures in the gaming room.

“The manager told the inspectors that the venue had proper procedures in place to ensure gaming machine players are kept 1.5 metres apart,” Mr Argeres said.

“The licensee has since advised us that he will turn off every second machine to ensure compliance with the public health order.”

Mr Argeres said all pubs, licensed venues and cafes and restaurants must ensure their staff are constantly checking for compliance with all conditions in their COVID safe plans.

“These latest breaches mean a total of 18 venues across NSW have now been fined for COVID safety breaches in the past month,” he said.

“The time for warnings is now long gone. Venues caught doing the wrong thing can expect to be fined for the first breach and shut down for second and subsequent breaches.”

COVID safety breaches can be reported to NSW Police. Liquor & Gaming conducts uniformed and undercover inspections of licensed venues and can issue on the spot fines where necessary.

Attached image is of breach at The Eastern Hotel.

/Public Release.