Venues threaten to ignore Covid restrictions after government allows mass protests

Businesses are up in arms about the contradiction in the government’s handling of Covid-19 restrictions that allowed tens of thousands to protest in the street but venues limited to small numbers.

The protests saw more than 60,000 people hit the streets nationwide, leaving venue owners in NSW and Queensland fuming that they get hit with fines if they breach the restrictions by just a few patrons.

In NSW, the boss of Navarra Venues said he would ignore the government restrictions from July.

“From July, we are reopening,” Sal Navarra said. “Reopening to any numbers. Yes we will implement social distancing, but we don’t want to deal with upset clients anymore.

“It is not fair on them… The government allowed 15,000 or 20,000 people to gather.”

The co-owner of Italian restaurant Costa D’Oro on the Gold Coast told the Gold Coast Bulletin that the government should not have one rule for protestors and one rule for business owners.

“If this is allowed, we should be allowed the same thing and have as many people as we want in the restaurant,” she said.

Under the current restrictions the restaurant is only allowed to have 50 patrons at a time.

“I’ve been thinking well maybe the restaurant and all the other operators should do something, put up signs and have a protest day so we can have as many people as we want too,” she said.

“This does make you want to rebel when you see all these other people getting away with it… Why can’t we do the same thing?”