22 July 2020

First fine issued to ACT restaurant for breaching COVID-19 restrictions

| Michael Weaver
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Charcoal Restaurant

The Charcoal Restaurant is the first to be issued with a fine for breaching COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT. Photo: File.

Canberra’s iconic Charcoal Restaurant is the first business in the ACT to receive a fine for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

Commander of the ACT Policing COVID-19 Taskforce Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy said 20 diners present when ACT Policing officers attended last Friday night (17 July).

The venue is limited to 12 patrons under current social distancing rules and had signage at the entrance to the restaurant indicating the maximum number of people allowed.

The restaurant will receive a $5000 fine after also receiving numerous warnings from ACT Policing and inspectors from ACT Health and Access Canberra.

This is the first fine issued by ACT Policing as part of the ACT’s COVID-19 response.

Supt Kennedy said it was everybody’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the health directions.

“The guidelines are clear and ACT Policing will continue to take all necessary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes taking stronger enforcement action for intentional and flagrant breaches,” Supt Kennedy said.

“The majority of people and businesses are doing the right thing despite the disruption to everyday life. With everyone doing it tough, it’s so disappointing when we see a business putting the broader community at risk by brazenly flouting the restrictions.

“ACT Policing and the ACT Government had engaged with this business on a number of occasions to help support it meet the health directions but our advice was not being listened to or actioned.

“These rules are in place for a reason and ACT Policing will continue to work with ACT Health and Access Canberra to ensure business compliance. I would like to thank all the businesses that continue to do the right thing. I know the whole community is grateful for the care and consideration you are taking for their safety.”

Supt Kennedy said the public can report non-compliance with public health directions to ACT Health Protection Services, ACT Policing or Access Canberra Fair Trading via the COVID-19 Helpline on 6207 7244 or the online form.

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