Police were called to a popular Sydney pub last night after hundreds of revellers defied public health advice by forming a tightly packed queue to get in.
A photograph posted online shows people virtually shoulder-to-shoulder outside the Golden Sheaf, in Double Bay, on Wednesday evening.
NSW Police confirmed officers were called to the venue about 9:00pm.
“Police liaised with the manager before assisting security with restricting the number of people in the line to comply with social distancing guidelines,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“The remainder were moved on from the area.”
Nobody was fined as a result.
After a walk-through of the premises, police deemed the Golden Sheaf was complying with COVID-19 restrictions inside.
Federal MP for Wentworth Dave Sharma reposted an image of the queue online and said the incident was “not OK” because the spike in cases in Victoria had shown COVID-19 could easily surge again.
The chief executive officer of the Golden Sheaf’s operator, Solotel Group, insisted the venue practised “strict social distancing and COVID hygiene and safety procedures”.
“We take the safety of our guests and staff very seriously,” Justine Baker said.
“We employ management and security staff to monitor queues constantly — at the Golden Sheaf last night we worked immediately with police to disperse the crowd and ensure social distancing measures were established.”
She said it was “the collective responsibility” of all staff, guests, operators and authorities to ensure each other’s safety.
Under current COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, the capacity of a venue must not exceed one customer per four square metres.
They are also required to keep names and contact details for staff, customers and contractors for at least 28 days to enable contact tracing in the event of any confirmed case.
Ms Baker denied reports the venue had been offering discount drink promotions on Wednesday nights and said this had ceased since the pandemic began.