Five NSW pubs and clubs have now been closed due to infected customers from the COVID-19 cluster visiting them.
The latest venues – Wests League Club and the Macarthur Tavern – closed overnight.
Wests League Club in Leumeah, in the city’s south-west, was closed just minutes after the Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown, also in the south west of Sydney, announced a case this morning.
“The Wests League Club was last night advised by NSW Health that a person who has tested positive to Covid19 visited our Leagues Club on Friday evening at 8pm and this same person visited again in the early hours of Sunday morning (between 12am – 2:30am),” the club said in a statement.
“By the time that we re-open, there will have been over 100+ man hours of cleaning and sanitising from additional staff and contractors to ensure that our Club is cleaner than it has ever been.”
The Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown announced on Facebook this morning: “The patron was in our venue on Saturday the 11th July between 9pm and 12 midnight. We are working closely with NSW health on this case. Our patron’s safety is of utmost concern during these difficult times.
“We have had strict procedure in place to prevent and control the spread of this virus and these procedures will continue to be put into action.”
The tavern will be closed for deep cleaning until 3pm today when it plans to re-open.
“There is no requirement for the premises to shut down or for any member of staff or patron to self-isolate but they will need to remain vigilant for any respiratory symptoms and get tested immediately and self-isolate should symptoms develop,” the venue said.
Their closures follow the Picton Hotel and Crossroads Hotel shutting earlier this week.
The Crossroads Hotel at Casula has been linked to around 40 cases so far in the COVID-19 cluster, while an infected patron travelled to Picton Hotel to play the poker machines over three days.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said one young man who caught COVID-19 at the Crossroads Hotel had “one of the highest infection levels we’ve ever seen”.
Hazzard told Ben Fordham on 2GB: “His viral load was quite capable of spreading it to anybody near him … we all need to be on high alert.”
A Melbourne man who works for a freight company and was visiting an office in Sydney has been identified as patient zero for the outbreak.
The Tathra Hotel on the NSW South Coast closed last week after it was discovered that a holidaying Victorian teenager with the virus ate lunch there.
Among the venues visited by COVID-19 cluster patrons in the past two weeks are Cook @ Kurnell; Highfield, Caringbah; Merimbula RSL; Waterfront Cafe Merimbula; Murray Downs Golf Club; The Star; and Canterbury Leagues Club.
First NSW pub shut down for COVID-19 breaches
The Lake Jindabyne Hotel has become the first pub in NSW to be shut down by police for COVID-19 breaches.
The hotel in the Snowy Mountains was temporarily closed for three days from 7.30pm on Saturday.
The venue received a $5000 fine on Tuesday due to large groups of revellers failing to socially distance and warnings about intoxication levels.
“Between Tuesday 5 May 2020 and Saturday 11 July 2020, police issued a premises in Jindabyne with three formal and several informal warnings relating to intoxication levels and public health and safety issues, including large groups of people failing to social distance,” police said in a statement.
“About 7.30pm on Saturday 11 July 2020, officers from Monaro Police District attended the premises and forced closure of the venue.”
Two Sydney venues were given fines this week for COVID-19 breaches.
Liquor & Gaming NSW has imposed a $5500 fine on the Golden Sheaf Hotel after a queuing incident (above) and will also fine The Star casino after groups of patrons were seen standing and mingling in groups while drinking there on Saturday.
New restrictions for NSW venues
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new restrictions for venues after a series of COVID-related incidents at pubs, clubs and casinos.
Patrons can no longer stand to have a drink, the size of group bookings will be cut from 20 to 10, and larger pubs and clubs will be limited to 300 patrons.
Berejiklian told Sunrise the new restrictions followed discussions with the Australian Hotels Association.
“Unfortunately what they’ve told us is when you have more than 10 in a group booking in a pub or hotel setting, people are mingling and they shouldn’t be mingling,” she explained.
“We want everybody seated, no common use of cutlery, no common use of anything… these are basic things to follow to keep everybody safe.”
Under the new restrictions, a full-time marshall must be employed to monitor social distancing at venues hosting more than 250 patrons, and smaller venues must have a COVIDSafe monitor during peak times. COVIDSafe registration is mandatory.
“This is a good example of industry and government working together to reduce the risk during a pandemic,” Berejiklian noted.