Venues warned of Covid crackdown throughout NSW

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Liquor & Gaming compliance officers will be out across NSW to check if venues are COVID safe and that those participating in the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover program are complying with its rules.

Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said most businesses are doing the right thing but where there is the intentional misuse of Dine and Discover vouchers owners can expect a visit from compliance officers.

“With thousands of businesses across the state part of the scheme, it is now more important than ever for these venues to be COVID smart and COVID safe,” Mr Argeres said.

“While we are looking at compliance with the Dine & Discover rules, our focus remains on venues doing the right thing in terms of COVID safety.”

Liquor & Gaming compliance officers will be out undercover conducting inspections across different venues to test compliance throughout NSW. Strong penalties apply for breaching the COVID requirements, including fines of up to $5,000 and venue closures for repeat offending.

“A key part of compliance for hospitality businesses is the requirement customers sign in using the Service NSW QR code,” Mr Argeres.

 “Now is not the time to get complacent, the COVID safety requirements are in place for a reason, and all venues need to make sure they are fully compliant.” 

Those working in indoor venues, across Greater Sydney, who are dealing with customers are also reminded that they need to wear a face mask at all times.

Over the weekend, inspectors will also be out conducting broader compliance activities in Sydney’s east including in Bondi and Coogee to ensure venues are complying with the latest Public Health Orders. Inspectors will also be out in regional areas including Gosford and Wollongong.

Dine & Discover vouchers can only be used at eligible businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe.

The other major aspect of the compliance operation is ensuring participants are fulfilling the other terms and conditions of the program.

“This includes not artificially inflating prices or allowing customers to use the vouchers to buy restricted products,” Mr Argeres.

Businesses cannot accept vouchers as payment for alcohol, gambling, or tobacco. 

Service NSW Executive Director, Mandy Young, said the rollout of the Dine & Discover scheme had been positively received, with 3,933,561 vouchers redeemed, and 94 per cent of customers giving their experience a thumbs up.

“We are committed to making Dine & Discover NSW accessible to all eligible residents so they can go out, dine out and enjoy local attractions and activities safely,” Ms Young said.

Those businesses found to have breached the terms and conditions may face suspension or deregistration from the Dine & Discover scheme, and where appropriate recovery of funds may be sought. 

The inspection campaign runs until 30 June 2021. The conditions of the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover program can be found here:

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