Authorities are on the verge of ordering the closure of a cafe in regional NSW that has repeatedly violated COVID-19 rules, as dozens more have been fined for not wearing masks.
The cafe at Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains have been issued a show-cause notice, forcing the two owners to justify why it should not be closed.
“That’s the escalation of events that both police and (NSW) Health are prepared to take,” Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Saturday.
The owners, a 32-year-old woman and 33-year-old man, were arrested and charged on Wednesday for failing to wear masks.
They were released on conditional bail, but police found the cafe’s patrons on Friday again wearing no masks. There was no QR code or sign-in sheet to facilitate check-ins.
It’s not the only regional NSW cafe in hot water over COVID-19 compliance.
Three staffers at a cafe at Bowral in the southern highlands were arrested on Thursday over complaints they were not wearing masks.
One, a 63-year-old man, has now been charged with assaulting and resisting a police officer, inciting others to resist a police officer, and failing to comply with a direction prohibiting spitting and coughing.
The other two, women aged 62 and 43, will also face court for failing to wear a masks, hindering police, and failing to provide name and address.
Meanwhile, 48 people were fined in NSW on Friday for failing to wear a mask. Thirty others received infringement notices for other COVID-19 breaches.
Among them were two young men from Sydney’s west who tried to go on a tour of Jenolan Caves on Friday afternoon.
Police say they told the officers who stopped them that they travelled there because they were bored.
Each received a $1000 fine and were told to return to Sydeny.
“It is quite clear now that people will report this sort of behaviour to police and we will take interest,” the deputy commissioner said.