Australia

Dob in a diner for virus breaches

Authorities are calling on patrons to dob in restaurants flouting COVID-19 safety protocols after 23 Sydney venues were issued heavy fines.

Among them was Strathfield Korean BBQ joint Butchers Buffet, which was slugged $5000 by SafeWork, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Inspectors who visited the site on September 11 saw customers sharing cutlery, condiments, plates, bowls and trays of food, while seating was not adequately spaced out.

The venue also had no coronavirus marshal.

SafeWork NSW Work Health and Safety Metro director Sarina Wise said “self-serve buffets and pandemics simply don’t mix”.

“No self-serve buffet style food service areas are allowed, including communal bar snacks and communal condiments,” she told the Sunday Telegraph.

Ms Wise urged diners to report any unsafe practices to ensure authorities can “hold businesses to account”.

It came following a crackdown in Sydney last week, which saw inspectors issue fines to pubs, cafes, restaurants and bowling clubs across the city for breaches ranging from inadequate spacing between gaming machines, having tables and chairs too close to together, not having a COVID-19 Safety Plan or being registered as “COVIDSafe”.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said: “While most venues are doing the right thing, there are some that think they’re above the rules.

“This is unacceptable and my message to them is simple — pick up your game or you’ll be fined. Community safety must come first.

“Inspectors are on the beat every day and they won’t hesitate to crack down on businesses breaking the rules.”

The fines are among 150 that have been issued to date, amounting to $658,000.

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