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Publicans frustrated by disobedient customers risking their livelihoods

Hotelier and former MP Craig Laundy has spoken out about the behavior of patrons as pubs struggle to enforce social distancing.

One of Mr Laundy’s venues, the Watsons Bay Hotel, was fined $5000 last Friday for failure to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

In his version of events, the bad habits of pub regulars, used to mingling freely, are to blame for the breach.

“The two inspectors … had informed [the duty manager] that we’d passed,” he told Jim Wilson.

“All of a sudden we had a customer get up from one table, and walk over to say hello to customers on another, and the inspector basically breached us on the spot.”

Mr Laundy said staff are “forever on their back[s]” to comply with the rules, “to the point of where they take exception to it”.

“Most people that are out and about, the vast majority are doing the right thing, but there is that ingrained customer base day-in, day-out that are … digging in their heels, and that gets bloody frustrating.”

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