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17 September 2020

$5,000 fine for COVID safety breaches at Auburn pub

Liquor & Gaming NSW today fined Auburn Hotel $5,000 for weekend COVID safety breaches that included not having an appropriate safety plan in place, improper record keeping and issues with distancing between gaming machines.

When inspectors entered the pub in plain clothes on Saturday night, they were asked to sign in on a paper register that contained illegible names and phone numbers missing digits.

They saw patrons sitting side by side at unspaced gaming machines and, after identifying themselves to management, discovered the pub’s COVID-19 Safety Plan consisted of a laminated A4 sheet blue-tacked to the gaming room door.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said although the licensee later provided a more comprehensive plan, at the time the one-pager of dot points wasn’t sufficient as it failed to capture physical distancing requirements among other important measures.

“In addition, the pub wasn’t registered as a COVID safe business and was not creating a digital record of its customers,” Mr Argeres said.

“This really isn’t good enough, especially as Auburn Hotel is in Sydney’s West which is currently linked to a number of COVID cases.

“No premises should be willing to risk its ability to continue trading, least of all in areas where clusters are appearing.