Double Bay pub the Golden Sheaf has introduced a series of new safety policies after photos of patrons crowding out the front of the venue spread across the internet and news outlets. A photo posted on Reddit, taken around 9pm on Wednesday night, shows a line of punters stretching from the door down the street, with less than 1.5 metres of space between them.
Wednesday night is typically student night at the Sheaf, which is owned by hospitality group Solotel, and in pre-covid times offered live DJs and drinks deals. “We have not offered social media drink promotions since the start of covid,” Solotel Group CEO Justine Baker said in a statement. “We employ management and security staff to monitor queues constantly – at the Golden Sheaf … we worked immediately with police to disperse the crowd and ensure social distancing measures were established.”
Now, the pub has introduced a range of measures to ensure the crowding doesn’t happen again. It will require bookings for patrons to enter after 8pm on Wednesdays, and a maximum of 20 people will be allowed in its queues at a time.
The pub will also employ extra staff and security to ensure patrons adhere to social distancing.
“We are practicing strict social distancing and covid hygiene and safety procedures,” said Baker. “We abide by NSW Health guidelines throughout all of our venues, including the Golden Sheaf. All of our staff are inducted into the new covid hygiene practices as a mandatory.”
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said earlier this week that the government would be cracking down on hospitality businesses not adhering to covid regulations. Businesses face fines of up to $55,000 if they allow too many people into their venue, don’t allow enough space between tables or have communal condiments.