A MONTH-LONG high visibility police operations is underway focusing on social distancing and Public Health Order compliance in licensed premises, as pubs reopen across NSW today (Monday June 1).
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that hotels across the state will be able to open for up to 50 people from today, with 50 more allowed in separate dining areas.
There will be strict guidelines in place regarding the number of people allowed in a venue and what they can do in there and bookings of more than 10 people will not be allowed.
“You have to be seated at a table, even if it’s a pub, you have to be seated at the table; you have to be served at the table; there is no mingling, no standing around,” Premier Berejiklian said.
Gaming is also allowed from today. However venues must ensure there is 1.5m between active gaming machines. Customers using gaming machines are included in the maximum capacity limit of each seated table service area, and customers from different seated table service areas should not co-mingle.
Operation Pariac Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell said venues and patrons need to be aware of their responsibilities to maintain a COVID-safe environment.
“Whether you’re heading to a winery in the Hunter Valley, a bar at Byron Bay, a pub on the bushfire-hit South Coast, or an RSL in drought-impacted areas out west – licensees and patrons alike need to be aware of their surroundings and the strict rules which now apply,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.
The extended period of Operation Pariac has commenced and will be conducted until Tuesday June 30. Operation Pariac is a high-visibility operation regularly conducted by general duties and specialist licensing police in the Northern, Southern and Western Regions, but will have an altered focus for June 2020.
The operation aims to ensure education and compliance around the Public Health Order conditions, relative to the easing of restrictions in licensed premises. Police will also be targeting alcohol-related crime, including assaults, anti-social behaviour and public order incidents.
“From today, the movement of people across the state will start to increase dramatically, as thousands of people head to regional communities to inject much needed tourism dollars,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.
“Police will be conducting random checks and patrols of licensed venues throughout our regions, with the ability for resources to be shared amongst police districts where the demand is needed – particularly across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (Saturday 6 June – Monday 8 June 2020).
“Operation Pariac, as part of a Vikings operation, will see officers working closely with industry and business owners to ensure they are able to operate safe environments for their customers, while making the public feel confident about returning to a COVID-safe venue.”
Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO John Whelan said the easing of restrictions means 44,500 hotel staff members across the state can return to work from today – about 24,500 in metropolitan hotels and 20,000 in regional areas.
“This is a massive step forward for hotels and the NSW economy,” Mr Whelan said.
“Hotels have struggled to survive – today marks the start of our come back as a great place for our communities to meet, relax and socialise.
“Hoteliers have rightly put the health and safety of staff, patrons and the community first as we battle together to contain the spread of COVID-19, but the virus has obviously devastated hotels and our workforce.
“We look forward to the day when we can safely fully re-open, re-employ our staff and pour a cold draught beer for our loyal patrons – hopefully that day is not far off as we work together to beat COVID-19.”
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Categories: NSW hotels