A bar in Melbourne has been slapped with an almost $10,000 fine for ignoring social-distancing guidelines.
A staff member of China Bar in Fitzroy was fined $9913 fine after police found six staff serving two customers drinks on Saturday night.
It is the first on-the-spot fine issued by Victoria Police for breaching social-distancing measures.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said anyone who ignored the restrictions was “an idiot”.
“Unless you’re living under a rock, or unless you’re an idiot, it’s quite clear the restrictions are there, the restrictions are to be abided by,” he said.
“That’s a really big hit, and we know that that is a significant fine, especially in these times when businesses are struggling.
“But people must comply with these restrictions and that’s why we’ve brought these in.”
But China Bar’s Krystal Khor told the Herald Sun said the incident was not a case of willfully disregarding the restrictions, but rather bad luck.
She claimed staff did not know the pair were drinking at the bar and were “already drunk when they got there”.
“It was a friend of the owner and his friend … I have only seen one of them before a couple of times,” she said.
“We were quite unlucky with that situation, like really unlucky. We didn’t see them sitting down.
“It was a coincidence — they were only there to find the boss.”
Khor said the bar owner had offered to pay the fine.