NSW has restrictions that allow a maximum of 300 people per venue, provided the one person per four-square-metre rule is adhered to. This violation occurred just 10km from an emerging COVID cluster, too.
A wedding reception venue substantially breached Public Health Orders when it hosted between 600 and 700 guests at the weekend.
The operator of the venue in Fairfield, merely 10km from an emerging cluster of COVID cases, has been fined $5,000 for the violation.
Current NSW restrictions allow for a maximum of 300 guests under the one person per four-square-metre rule.
“The operator has been fined $5,000 and I’m furious,” NSW Police Minister David Elliott told 2GB radio on Monday.
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“I was told the Fairfield local area command attended a wedding venue (that had) 700 people and has been fined $5000. It’s infuriated me; it’s not that way I wanted to spend my Monday morning I can assure you.”
He continued: “The operator, a 46-year-old man, did breach the Public Health Orders and it was such a high-level breach the police will ensure he gets the $5000 (fine). He can challenge that and risk himself six months in jail.”
The new cluster, just a stone’s throw away, stems from a BWS bottle shop in Berala and has resulted in 13 new cases of community transmission.
Thousands of customers who may have been exposed by visiting the store between December 22 and December 31 are now being urged to get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their result.
“This isn’t a dozen people that turned up unannounced, this is twice the amount of people that were allowed to attend that wedding reception in an area not far from Berala,” Mr Elliott told the Today show.
“We don’t want to go back into lockdown. That’s why we have introduced these Public Health Orders and I’m very disappointed that the Fairfield police area command has had to go through that over the last 48 hours.”