A Byron Bay restaurant has been fined $5000 for breaching COVID-19 restrictions in a week when thousands of school-leavers flocked to the area.

Over two days police observed the restaurant on Jonson St had more than the permitted one person per four square metres inside the venue.

Police contacted the business owner on Monday and issued them with a $5000 fine for failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction.

Superintendent Dave Roptell said schoolies week is no excuse for breaking the law, and 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,” he said.

“Our specialised licensing police will continue to conduct business inspections and compliance checks … to ensure venues have their COVID-Safety plans up-to-date and are doing their bit to protect the northern NSW community,” he said.