25 September 2020

Thredbo restaurant shut down for COVID-19 breaches

| Kim Treasure
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River Inn at Thredbo

The River Inn will be closed for seven days from 5:00 am Friday, 25 September. Image: NSW Government.

The restaurant in Thredbo’s River Inn has been shut down for a week following repeated breaches of COVID-19 safety regulations.

NSW Police and Liquor & Gaming NSW visited the venue four times in July and September, identifying breaches to patron numbers, a lack of spacing between seated patrons, mingling between tables and in queues, and alcohol being consumed while standing.

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Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said the COVID-safe message just wasn’t getting through to some venues.

“This venue has consistently failed to maintain COVID safety standards and has not complied with its own COVID safety plan,” Mr Argeres said.

“Police officers and Liquor & Gaming inspectors observed situations where the venue was repeatedly overcapacity, groups were seated almost back to back, and queues of up to 30 people stood shoulder to shoulder.

“They also observed patrons drinking shots at the bar and consuming liquor while standing, including one of the business owners.

“First the venue was warned, then its manager and event promoter were fined $5000 each.

“After finding yet more breaches on the fourth visit, it was clear that the ongoing operation of the premises presented a clear and significant risk to public health.”

The restaurant at the River Inn will be closed for seven days from 5:00 am Friday, 25 September.

“As we come into party season with major events such as the Spring Racing Carnival, Bathurst 1000 motor race, the footy finals and schoolies celebrations, we’re warning all hospitality providers and function operators to stick to the limits around venue capacity and group bookings,” Mr Argeres said.

READ ALSO Taxi driver sparks COVID-19 alert on South Coast

“Distance and space are crucial: to avoid sharing close contacts, groups must stay seated at a distance from other groups.”

The restaurant at River Inn is the second NSW venue to be closed for a week following last month’s closure of Unity Hall Hotel in Rozelle for a series of similar breaches.

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Useless penalty given that THREDBO closed the lifts last Monday!

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