Wedding venue in Sydney’s Covid-riddled western suburbs is fined $5,000 for hosting a 700-person reception – as ‘infuriated’ police chief blasts operator for ‘blatant’ breach
A venue operator in Sydney’s west has been fined $5,000 for hosting a 700-person wedding reception.
Police Minister David Elliott said the venue in Fairfield was at double its COVID-safe capacity on Saturday night.
‘It has infuriated me. It’s not the way that I wanted to spend my Monday morning, I can assure you.
‘It’s only going to take one person to do the wrong thing, and then we have another Avalon on our hands.’
Fears have been raised as Fairfield is very close to Berala where a Covid cluster has been growing.
NSW Health ramped up its investigation of the Covid cluster, which has been linked to a BWS store, after two infected staff members worked nine busy shifts over the Christmas period.
As of Sunday, there were 13 cases linked to the cluster, but authorities are concerned thousands more could have been exposed to the virus at the busy shop.
NSW 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 said he would not rule 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.
‘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.’
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.
Anybody who visited the BWS between December 22 and December 31 must self isolate for 14 days and seek a Covid test, even if they only briefly visited.
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.
There were eight more locally-acquired cases in NSW announced on Sunday, including five linked to the alcohol store, two linked to the historic Avalon cluster and one in Wollongong.
More to come