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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Police to crack down on non-compliant businesses, patrons

ACT Policing will continue to crack down on businesses not complying with COVID-19 directions, as restrictions are set to ease slightly in the ACT from Monday 10 August.

ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said while police would work with businesses as they reopen to ensure they have COVID safety plans in place, they would be “checking on them, like we’ve been checking on everyone else”.

He said restrictions easing slightly means the ACT needs to “double down” efforts. While “99.999%” of Canberrans and businesses had been doing the right thing, he said some restaurants have been flouting restrictions and letting more people in than space allows.

“Unfortunately, there’s a couple of restaurants in particular that aren’t adhering to the guidelines, and it’s well-publicised that we’ve already issued a fine in relation to that,” he said.

He said restaurants not complying with Public Health Directions could expect police to come down on them “like a ton of bricks”.

“Because we’re only as strong as our weakest link, we’re all in this together. Most of the restaurants are doing the right thing, and I really thank them for that, but we need to ensure that everyone actually does the right thing.” 

He also called on Canberrans to ensure they leave the correct information with the venue when dining in, with a number of reports of diners leaving fake names and contact details.

“I don’t think we have too many Donald Ducks that live in Canberra, but that’s the name we’re seeing quite a lot, and Mickey Mouse. So we know it’s happening.

“If Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse continue as it is, and we do have a coronavirus spread in the ACT, it’s going to make it very difficult to contract trace. So people need to adhere to it.”

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the Government was looking into an electronic method of collecting details, amid concerns from patrons that their details are “on display” in a venue.

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