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Pub and popular chain cafe each fined $5,000 for COVID breaches

The Darlo Village Hotel in Darlinghurst and Soul Origin café in Maitland were fined $5,000 each by Department of Customer Service inspectors for breaches of the COVID public health orders, bringing the total number of fines to seventeen.

NSW Fair Trading inspectors attended Soul Origin on 3 August and observed an absence of COVID safety signage and customer tables and chairs placed closely together. 

Upon conversation, the manager stated that the business had 'nothing in place' and was not registered as COVID Safe.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors visited the Darlo Village Hotel* on 1 August and initially found everything in order, with a current COVID safety plan and COVID safe stickers up on the doors, a QR code check in process, a COVID safety marshal on duty, and readily available hand sanitiser.

However, upon reaching the second floor they found patrons at different tables seated almost back to back in a clear breach of physical distancing requirements.

Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said the duty manager moved the patrons promptly upon request and admitted the lack of spacing was a breach of the venue’s conditions.

“We’re glad staff responded cooperatively with instructions, but had inspectors not been present the business and its patrons may not have taken their obligations as seriously,” Mr Argeres said.

“All it can take to spread infection is being too close to other people, for too long – especially indoors.

“Physical distancing, providing your contact details and maintaining good hand hygiene are really the most important things we as individuals can do when we enter a premises. 

“Patrons must remember that it is their responsibility to make sure they’re helping businesses by complying with the measures they have to put in place and any directions given by venue staff.”

COVID safety breaches can be reported to NSW Police. Liquor & Gaming, SafeWork and Fair Trading conduct uniformed and undercover inspections of licensed venues and can issue on the spot fines or temporarily close businesses where necessary.
*Liquor & Gaming NSW wishes to confirm that Darlo Village Hotel is the correct name of the business fined. Some media coverage has referred to the venue as Darlo Bar, a separate business which has not incurred any breaches of COVID public health orders.   


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