Pubs, clubs fear full closure after rules broken

 

LAW-ABIDING Brisbane pubs and clubs worry "one or two bad eggs" could ruin it for everyone as police warn they may punish venues for blatant social distancing failures.

Businesses doing the right thing are calling on the hospitality industry to work together to prevent entertainment precincts having to close again.

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Caxton Hotel venue manager Jared Melvin said it was "disappointing to think some venues

think they can get away with bending the rules".

"Getting shut down again would be extremely disappointing, and if that was the fault of one or two bad eggs, I can't imagine the industry would handle that very well, especially if it went unpunished," Mr Melvin said.

 

Caxton Hotel Manager Jared Melvin doubts if many businesses would survive a second closure. Picture: Richard Walker
Caxton Hotel Manager Jared Melvin doubts if many businesses would survive a second closure. Picture: Richard Walker

 

"The hospitality industry as a whole does well at working together, and QHA (Queensland Hotels Association) does a lot to allow us to do the right thing and offer advice."

Mr Melvin said he doubted whether many of Brisbane's businesses would survive the economic hit of a second closure, while Lefty's Music Hall marketing manager Tammy Wood said it would be "disappointing to see everyone's hard work unravel".

"Unfortunately a small minority aren't following the rules, which could lead us to full closure again, which we would dread," she said.

"It's about everyone working to do the right thing."

 

Lefty’s Music Hall marketing manager Tammy Wood said the industry needed to work together. Picture: Richard Walker
Lefty’s Music Hall marketing manager Tammy Wood said the industry needed to work together. Picture: Richard Walker

 

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police will pay close attention to the nightclub district in the coming weeks, following "pretty disappointing" attempts at social distancing over the weekend.

"We will continue to monitor these areas and if there's noncompliance both by the licensed premises or the people attending, we will have to take action," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

 

The queue to get into The Beat club in the Valley on Friday. Picture: John Gass
The queue to get into The Beat club in the Valley on Friday. Picture: John Gass

 

Police fined three licensed venues $6675 each for breaches relating to COVID-19 restrictions on the first weekend of nightclub openings, while a fourth venue is under investigation with potential breaches relating to failure to record patron's details this weekend.

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski would not confirm whether venues who failed to socially distance patrons in queues at the weekend would be fined.

He also danced around questions as to if the venues themselves, or the individuals would be the ones issued infringement notices.

"We will look at vision and determine whether there's a need to take enforcement action," Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.

"The individuals that are standing in those lines have to take responsibility because we're not going to allow that to continue … If there's noncompliance both by the licensed premises or the people attending, we will have to take action," he said.

 

Prohibition also attracted long queues over the weekend. Picture: John Gass
Prohibition also attracted long queues over the weekend. Picture: John Gass

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned that if nightclubs breached their COVID-safe plans, there would be "consequences".

"I know it's tough times everyone," she said.

"But we're all in this together and we have to make sure that we keep up the social distancing.

"And that means if you're lining up to go into a cafe, a bar, a restaurant or a nightclub, you have to keep your social distance."

A spokeswoman from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) said its officers will continue to work with venues regarding queuing issues in the lead-up to next weekend.

Originally published as Pubs, clubs fear full closure after rules broken