Sydney pub fined $10,000 and forced to close for breaching COVID regulations

The hotel breached guidelines on two occasions

A Sydney pub has been fined $10,000 and issued a closure notice for breaching COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales.

As reported by 9News, the Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain was first fined $5,000 in early August after police inspected the venue and found chairs and tables had not been distanced appropriately. Later that month, an inspection of CCTV footage found 32 guests standing around and dancing during an apparent private function, and the venue was fined a further $5,000 for breaching the 10-person limit on bookings.

The venue has since received a week-long closure notice from the state government’s Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing for not complying with the health regulations on two occasions, and will close from today (September 9).

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“I’m really frustrated because the vast majority are doing the right thing,” NSW Premier Berejiklian said of the venue during an interview with Today.

“If you have had a fine, you have been shut down for a few days, and then you do it again and ignore it, that is how the disease spreads.”

In response to the penalties, Unity Hall management issued a statement on social media, apologising to patrons.

“We acknowledge that we did not fully understand every aspect of the changing regulations and we should have,” a representative said.

“The standards required of the hotel by the health authorities are very high, but we recognise that the consequences of this virus are severe and are not to be taken lightly.”

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Posted by Unity Hall Hotel on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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