Police officers stormed a 700 guest wedding and booted out half the guests after they were tipped off about the ‘blatant’ Covid breach.
Paradiso Receptions in Fairfield in Sydney’s west was fined $5,000 for facilitating a wedding with double the COVID-safe capacity on Sunday night.
Video uploaded to Snapchat appeared to show the moment officers crashed the dimly lit reception about 9.30pm and began a rough head count.
When they realised the venue was well over capacity, they fined organisers and instructed guests to leave.
It is not clear if any guests have been fined yet.
Video uploaded to Snapchat appeared to show the moment officers crashed the dimly lit reception about 9.30pm on Sunday and began a rough head count
Paradiso Receptions in Fairfield in Sydney’s west was fined $5,000 for facilitating a wedding with double the COVID-safe capacity on Sunday night (pictured, a wedding at the venue)
According to the Herald Sun, the Fairfield venue was also accused of failing to comply with the conditions of its COVIDsafe plan, which restricts movements of guests and limits the amount of people who are allowed to dance.
Acting Commissioner Mal Lanyon said initial estimates revealed about 500 guests were present, but that number has since swelled to about 700.
The venue can ordinarily accommodate 1,100 people and was forced to close earlier in the pandemic because its business model wasn’t ‘suitable’ for the limitations.
Police Minister David Elliott on Monday said he was ‘infuriated’ after learning of the ‘blatant breach’.
‘It has infuriated me. It’s not the way that I wanted to spend my Monday morning, I can assure you,’ Mr Elliot told 2GB.
‘It’s only going to take one person to do the wrong thing, and then we have another Avalon on our hands.’
Police Minister David Elliott said Paradiso Receptions (pictured) in Fairfield was at double its COVID-safe capacity on Saturday night
New South Wales Health ramped up its investigation of a Covid cluster in Berala in Sydney’s west linked to a BWS store – with cases now popping up across Greater Sydney
From Monday, weddings are again capped at 100, and have been strictly regulated amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the time of the bash on Sunday, there were limited to 350 and they remain completely banned in the Northern Beaches.
In Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong weddings must have one person per 4sqm while the rest of NSW is two square metres.
Across the state, a maximum of 20 people are permitted on the dance floor at weddings and must be the same group of 20 for the whole event.
Fears have been raised about a possible outbreak as Fairfield is only about 10km from Berala where a Covid cluster has been growing.
NSW Health ramped up its investigation of the cluster, which has been linked to a BWS store after two infected staff members worked nine busy shifts over the Christmas period.
Weddings have been strictly regulated events amid the Covid-19 pandemic with just 350 guests permitted in NSW. They are completely banned in the Northern Beaches (Pictured: Paradiso Receptions where the wedding took place)
So far, 13 cases have been officially linked to the cluster, but at least two more will be added to the figures on Tuesday morning. Officially, NSW recorded no new cases on Monday.
Authorities are concerned thousands more could have been exposed to the virus at the busy store over the Christmas.
New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Berala cluster was concerning as transmission happened despite people spending very short periods of time inside the bottle shop.
He has not ruled out a local lockdown, similar to what was seen in the Northern Beaches.
‘We will always consider what we can do in relation to a lockdown and further restrictions, especially where there is a hot spot,’ he told the Today Show.
From Monday, Sydneysiders can be fined $200 for refusing to wear protective face masks in public (pictured, walkers at the Opera House on Sunday)
Berala BWS: Exposure times
Anyone who visited BWS at Berala Shopping Centre at certain times from December 22 through to New Year’s Eve is considered a close contact and should get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the test result:
Tuesday 22 December 2020 between 12:41pm to 9:15pm
Wednesday 23 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 9:15pm
Thursday 24 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 9:30pm
Saturday 26 December 2020 between 9:55am to 7:30pm
Sunday 27 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 8:15pm
Monday 28 December 2020 between 8:30am to 7:45pm
Tuesday 29 December 2020 between 1:45pm to 9:15pm
Wednesday 30 December 2020 between 12:45am to 9:15pm
Thursday 31 December 2020 between 8:30am to 5pm
‘One of the things we said when we were lifting restrictions was that if we had to respond, it would be fast and it would be hard and local, just like we have done for the peninsular.
‘There is no reason we couldn’t do that for Berala, Cumberland LGA area.’
In late December, 21 people from the Northern Beaches who attended a wedding in Sydney – including the bride – were each fined $1,000 for breaching stay-at-home orders.
The guests had all travelled from the Northern Beaches, which was in lockdown at the time to stem the spread of a Covid outbreak in the region.
There were 22,275 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 18,923 – but health bosses wanted more than 30,000 tests per day to be sure the virus isn’t spreading undetected.
Mr Barilaro said testing results were still too low and urged residents to come forward.
‘My plea today for those in western Sydney, please come out in numbers.’
There were seven cases reported on Monday, all were in hotel quarantine. However, two locally acquired cases were detected overnight, linked to the BWS Berala cluster in Sydney’s west.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said there are more than 2,000 people who may have visited the Berala store over the Christmas period.
Contact tracers are relying on CCTV and Rewards cards data to track close contacts.
People who attended BWS or Woolworths in the Berala shopping centre on Sunday 20 December between 12.30pm and 2pm are being urged to get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
But there are concerns that people who were exposed to the virus in that period could have already spread Covid throughout the community, potentially exposing tens of thousands of people along the way.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced the tough new rules for Sydney, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Blue Mountains as New South Wales recorded seven new Covid-19 infections on Saturday
Anybody who visited the Berala BWS (pictured) between December 22 and December 31 must self isolate for 14 days and seek a Covid test, even if they only briefly visited
Pictured: Diana Falasca, 28, and her new husband Mark Bonifacio at their wedding celebrations before 21 guests were fined for breaching Covid rules in December
LATEST COVID FACTS AT A GLANCE
* Tens of thousands of Sydneysiders will have to isolate, with ‘major concerns’ over the transmission of COVID-19 during brief interactions at a BSW in Berala in the western suburbs.
* NSW Health has ramped up its alert for patrons of BWS at Berala. Most who called in across the Christmas period are now considered close contacts and need to isolate for 14 days even if they visited the bottle-o for a short time.
* The Berala cluster now numbers 13 cases, with five recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm.
* There were eight locally-acquired NSW cases in total in that period, from 18,923 tests.
* Masks are now mandatory in Sydney shopping centres, on public transport, in places of worship, hair and beauty premises, entertainment venues such as cinemas and at other indoor venues like post offices and banks. All hospitality staff are also required to wear one.
* Victoria recorded three new locally-acquired infections for an active-case total of 32, while the number linked to Melbourne’s Black Rock cluster seeded by NSW’s northern beaches outbreak jumps to 21.
* The Garden State conducted 22,477 tests as people endured long lines at processing sites. Some were turned away and sent to nearby locations.
* A total of 1500 people have applied for an exemption to return to Victoria since it closed its northern border in Friday. Only 117 permits have been granted.
* The federal government has applauded NSW and Victoria’s responses to fresh outbreaks, while urging Victoria to allow residents back home.
* Health Minister Greg Hunt said with seedings at multiple Sydney venues, a “potentially enormous event” could have occurred but for the extent and speed of NSW’s response and contact-tracing capacity.
* Queensland has recorded zero new cases, with residents returning from visits to Victoria queuing to be tested after authorities advised them to do so straight away.
* The earliest Queensland will review its border restrictions for Greater Sydney is January 8, 28 days since the first case of community transmission.
South Australians are being advised to reconsider any travel to Victoria in response to the COVID-19 cluster in Melbourne.
* Health chief Nicola Spurrier says extensive contact tracing has been done by Victoria but she wants SA residents planning a trip in the next few days to be flexible. Otherwise, it’s not necessary to close the border.
* It’s been revealed five guards at SA medi-hotels were sacked for breaches of their duties while another 94 were suspended.