Penrith Panthers Rugby Leagues Club has been fined $10,000 for COVID safety breaches after footage showed fans mingling, hugging and drinking while standing during last Sunday night’s grand final.
Patrons at the club couldn’t contain their enthusiasm on Sunday night during the NRL grand final, but Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said that is no excuse for throwing the rules out the window.
“It’s not fair on the club, its staff or the community and we expect better behaviour from patrons who need to be aware of the rules when attending a venue,” Mr Argeres said.
“At the same time, venues need to make sure they are adequately implementing their safety plans particularly when higher patron numbers are expected due to special events.”
Penrith Panthers was not the only venue caught for grand final fails with ANZ Stadium fined $5,000 for patrons in the bar areas congregating across the balcony to watch the match.
Two other venues at Sydney Olympic Park have also been issued $5,000 fines for Public Health Order breaches detected during last Sunday’s compliance operation – The Brewery at the Novotel and the Locker Room.
“Sporting events build up anticipation and create lots of excitement, we get that. But they also create exactly the types of situation we’re trying to avoid – crowds that mingle and turn into one big group of close contacts,” Mr Argeres said.
“We’re just about to get full swing into party season with sports finals, the races, school formals and Christmas and New Year’s functions.
“These are all events where caution can be forgotten, but don’t forget life isn’t quite back to normal yet and if we want to enjoy summer with our friends and families, we need to keep COVID transmission low.”
Mr Argeres said Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors will be visiting venues holding Halloween parties tonight to check patrons are keeping COVID safe.
CCTV vision of the Penrith Panthers breaches is available at this link