Dress up and get ready for a COVID safe night out

October 14, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

Young ‘going out’ punters are the targets of a community campaign designed to keep COVID in check and venues around the state open.

 Check. Check. Check. has been launched across New South Wales by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) with the support of Minister Stuart Ayres who said: “2020 has changed the world around us. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our favourite forms of entertainment but it does mean our behaviours have to adapt and be more COVID safe.”

The Check. Check. Check. campaign calls on punters to:

·  CHECK in with their correct details at the door

·  CHECK their hands by regularly washing and sanitising

·  Keep themselves and friends safe by keeping physical distance ‘in CHECK’

Chair of the NTIA, Mr Michael Rodrigues, has steered the industry-led initiative that is expected to reach over four million urban patrons.

He said: “Venues are doing a great job, but they cannot control all behaviours. This is not just a campaign about the behaviour of patrons in their venues. It is also targeting punters to change their own behaviours before a night out. COVID-socialising is a shared responsibility.”

Comedian Matt Okine, musician Annie Hamilton and Sokyo Executive Chef Chase Kojima participated in the campaign, featuring in a short video that follows punters, entertainers and venue staff on what makes for a COVID safe night out.

Comedian, Matt Okine said, “This is not just about a night out for you. It’s about the hospitality and entertainment sector staying open. It’s about feeling connected to our community, something we can’t afford to lose right now.

“I’m genuinely glad when bar staff double-check that I’ve checked in to their venue. It makes me feel safe. But venue staff can’t watch you every minute of the night – nor do you want them to. This really only works if we’re all doing our bit. Triple-checking, every time…”

Photo Ross Caddaye

The campaign has the support of the  NSW Independent Bars Association and venues around the state – including well known and loved Sydney venues such as The Winery, Earl’s Juke Joint, Button Bar, Redfern Surf Club, Bungalow 8 and the Lansdowne – will feature the Check.Check.Check call-to-action on site with a range of positive, educational materials including signage, sanitiser bottles, coasters and stickers. There will also be a push via social media and outdoor community service announcements.

“Punters need to take on responsibility for the COVID-safe plan to work. Going out is putting yourself in a position to meet people, to shake hands, to have a hug…these are hard-wired evolutionary behaviours.”

“We need to get these new behaviours – sanitising hands, putting on a mask, physical distancing – ritualised over the next couple of months so that as restrictions are lifted, we don’t see outbreaks,” Mr Rodrigues said.

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