Queensland’s hospitality industry is worried about government backlash after video emerged of a packed nightclub dance floor in an alleged breach of coronavirus restrictions.
Footage of clubbers dancing shoulder-to-shoulder is alleged to have been taken at Prohibition on Friday night, the same day pubs and clubs were allowed to reopen but dance floors were to remain closed.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says police are investigating the club in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to determine if the licensee has breached COVID-19 restrictions.
Fortitude Valley Safe Night Precinct president Jason Hirt said all Valley licensees knew dance floors were off-limits to patrons.
Valley licensees and stakeholders are meeting with police and government officials on Wednesday.
“There were messages among the owners yesterday (Saturday), all appalled and outraged, regarding it,” Mr Hirt told AAP.
“We are all playing by the rules and getting it right, so we are very disappointed.
“Everyone is aware the dance floor is off-limits and we’re hoping it doesn’t affect anyone else.”
Some Brisbane nightclubs could be facing hefty fines after party-goers were caught hitting the clubs over the weekend and floating social distancing rules. @JessMillward9 #9News pic.twitter.com/WhfTeAQP7q
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) July 5, 2020
Queensland Hotels Association CEO Bernie Hogan was quick to distance his organisation from the nightclub precinct, saying none of his members was located in the Valley.
“Hotels and clubs are desperate to keep operating so the actions of one or two should not impact the rest of the hospitality industry,” he told AAP.
“It’s clear that dance floors are not to function at the present time.”
Ms Palaszczuk said that from the reports she had received the majority of licensees abided by the rules.
“It is unfortunate that some did breach those rules so that’s a matter for police,” she told reporters.
“If they have breached those COVID safe plans there could be fines imposed.”
Just last week a bar in Roma was fined $6672, after plain-clothes police pointed out several breaches, including failure to collect contact details.
Queensland again recorded no new cases on Sunday with just one active case throughout the state.