New Year’s Eve has proven difficult to navigate over the past two years. While we all know we should stay safe and adhere to government guidelines, some people want to party. For places that want to host a NYE party, this can prove to be difficult to manage.
The George Hotel located at St George’s Terrace in Perth’s showed a “blatant disregard” for the COVID rules, according to Police Commissioner Chris Dawson.
Dawson said in a press conference that police that were patrolling the area stumbled upon the party, finding the gates locked and the windows blocked out. Police assumed that this was in an attempt to cover up the party.
Inside the venue, over 300 attendees were dancing without masks, which are two things that are currently against COVID restrictions. Dawsen alleged that the SafeWA QR codes had been ripped off the walls of the venue and found crumpled up, tucked away behind the bar.
The commissioner warned that the bar’s licensees could face up to $250,000 in fines over the NYE party.
Police Minister Paul Papalia was quoted saying: “300 people breaching COVID protocols in the middle of an outbreak of Delta in Western Australia where we haven’t really confirmed yet that all of the potentially close contacts are casual contacts are clear of COVID — it’s an incredibly serious offence. If this is all demonstrated to be true, it’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible.”
The George’s owner Vinod Parihar denies knowing about the party, saying: “There are still a lot of unknowns, we need to work with authorities to find out what went wrong.”
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The state is trying desperately to quell the latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new Delta outbreak in Western Australia now known as the “backpacker cluster” resurging the virus with currently 16 confirmed cases.