NSW venues largely COVID-compliant
Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Food Authority inspectors and local government environmental health officers have reported widespread compliance with new COVID-19 health regulations.
NSW Department of Customer Service executive director Peter Dunphy said it was great news for the people of NSW to see that licensed venues and restaurants have embraced the post-pandemic way of operating.
“Liquor & Gaming inspectors have completed over 340 visits over the last couple of weeks and 93% of licensees were maintaining social distancing measures,” Mr Dunphy said.
“Safety plans take into account a range of measures including the wellbeing of staff and customers, physical distancing, record keeping and hygiene practices.”
From Monday 1 June, bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants have been able to operate with restrictions including a 50 customer limit or one customer per four square metres.
It is a requirement under Public Health Orders that these types of premises operate in accordance with a COVID safe plan.
“Due to the changing nature of the orders, inspectors are focused on educating and supporting businesses but will be able to take action where significant breaches are detected,” Mr Dunphy said.
The NSW Food Authority through its Food Regulation Partnership is working with council inspectors to undertake visits to cafes and restaurants to facilitate compliance with the requirements.
This will apply through all council areas of NSW. Furthermore, the NSW Food Authority has developed a workforce management plan to assist food processors put in place mitigation steps to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce with the plans made available to over 600 food processors.
Food Authority inspectors will work with food processors during inspections to implement these plans.
An important way businesses can help create a safer environment is by using a new free online training course created by the NSW Food Authority.
The Authority’s CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said the COVID-19 Awareness for Food Service course is designed to help businesses understand the new health rules and provides information on how to develop a COVID-19 safe plan. Since its release on 2 June over 5000 people have completed the course.
“We appreciate there is so much information out there and it is rapidly changing, this allows people to easily access the most recent advice,” Dr Szabo said.