A Byron Bay restaurant has been issued with a $5,000 fine for an alleged breach of Ministerial Directions under the Public Health Act at the weekend.

As a part of ‘Operation Summer Safe 2020’ and ‘Operation Schoolies 2020’, licensing police from Northern Region conducted a deployment to Byron Bay between Saturday 21 and Monday 23 November, assessing venue compliance with the Public Health Orders.

As a result of inquiries, police attended a restaurant on Jonson Street, where they allegedly observed more than the designated one person per four square metres inside the venue, over a two-day period.

Following further inquiries, police contacted the business owner on Monday and issued a $5,000 Penalty Infringement Notice for ‘Fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to Section 7/8/9 – COVID-19’.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell said as thousands of school leavers arrive in Byron this week, venues need to be aware of their responsibilities in maintaining a COVID-Safe environment.

‘There are Year 12 students coming to Byron Bay from all across Australia, including Victoria, Queensland and Greater Sydney,’ Supt Roptell said.

‘Our specialised licensing police will continue to conduct business inspections and compliance checks throughout the entire ‘Schoolies’ and ‘Summer Safe’ operations, to ensure venues have their COVID-Safety plans up-to-date and are doing their bit to protect the Northern NSW community.’

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.