Pub in Armidale fined $5000

A pub in Armidale has been fined $5,000 for breaching public health orders because its patrons were allegedly not physically distancing.

NSW police said officers went to the Faulkner Street hotel to do a public order health check on Friday and will allege that “upward of 30 patrons occupied two small areas of the premises with no social distancing maintained”.

Patrons were instructed to vacate the immediate area to which they complied, and the premises has since been spoken to by police regarding their Covid-19 safety plan.

New England police district commander, Supt Scott Tanner, said "whilst it is the responsibility of licensed premises to ensure they’re complying with public health orders, the public have to understand they’re putting those premises at risk and they may also be held liable. They’re putting the livelihoods of these businesses at risk, and if people don’t think it’s going to happen in our area they only have to look at other regional areas that are being impacted."

The $5,000 fine, which is the on-the-spot fine for businesses breaching the public health orders in NSW, was issued on Monday. The maximum penalty is $11,000 or six months’ jail.