Byron Bay restaurant fined thousands for alleged COVID breach

A popular restaurant in the heart of Byron Bay has copped a $5,000 fine for allegedly breaching COVID-19 public health directions over the weekend.

Licensing police swarmed the tourist destination as part of Operation Summer Safe and Operation Schoolies, to ensure venues were continuing to comply with Public Health Orders across the busy weekend.

As part of the operation, officers visited a Mexican restaurant on Jonson Street where they allegedly observed more than the designated one person per four square metres inside the venue on both Saturday and Sunday.


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The owner of the restaurant was on Monday issued with a $5,000 Penalty Infringement Notice for failure to comply with a noticed direction.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander Superintendent Dave Roptell said as thousands of school leavers arrive in Byron this week, venues need to be aware of their responsibilities in maintaining a COVID-Safe environment.

“There are Year 12 students coming to Byron Bay from all across Australia, including Victoria, Queensland and Greater Sydney,” Supt Roptell said.

“Our specialised licensing police will continue to conduct business inspections and compliance checks throughout the entire ‘Schoolies’ and ‘Summer Safe’ operations, to ensure venues have their COVID-Safety plans up-to-date and are doing their bit to protect the Northern NSW community.”

Police are continuing to appeal to residents to report any suspected breaches which may impact the health and safety of the community.