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Seven-day ban for nine Bondi businesses

Nine ‘kerbside bars’ in Bondi have been banned from selling takeaway liquor for seven days due to COVID Public Health Order concerns.

Dimitri Argeres, Director Compliance, Better Regulation Division, said the activity of selling cocktails to people to drink nearby or as they walked to the next ‘bar’ in the Bondi Beach area was encouraging the community to breach public health orders and had to stop.

“We’ve taken this action in response to concerns raised by the police and the community about drinks such as margarita cocktails in disposable cups being sold in multiple bars along Bondi Beach,” Argeres said.

“While it is understandable hospitality businesses are trying to maximise business during these hard times, this activity doesn’t pass the pub test as it results in patron crowding, congestion and a lack of social distancing.

“As we respond to the pandemic, businesses must be aware of the effect their goods and services have on the community and on the public health orders.

“It’s not appropriate for this type of risky activity to continue given all our efforts and the sacrifices being made across Greater Sydney to reduce the community transmission of the COVID-19 delta variant. What is appropriate is a stop of these takeaway alcohol sales for a week in Bondi to allow those businesses and the local community a necessary reset,” Argeres said.

The direction, under section 75 of the Liquor Act, was issued to Bondi Rumba, Bondi Tony’s Burger Joint, TAQIZA, Italo House, Speakeasy, Neighbourhood, Bondi Liquor Co, Fonda Mexican and North Bondi Fish, prohibiting takeaway sales of liquor directly from the venue, excluding home delivery, for seven days from Friday 30 July 2021.

On the Bondi Rumba Twitter account, the venue wrote: “I feel like we have been made a scape goat for what has been occurring in Bondi (and Sydney as a whole). To target small business rather than the people breaking lockdown protocols is really sad to me. Guess we are an easy target scape goat for what has been occurring in Bondi.”

A failure to comply with the direction carries a penalty of up to $11,000.

By Andy Young

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