A pub in regional New South Wales has blacklisted residents from the country’s worst coronavirus hot spots, banning all Sydneysiders and Melburnians.
The Bayview Hotel in Woy Woy, on the Central Coast is barring anyone who lives in Sydney or Melbourne from entering the business.
The ban came in place from 7am on Friday, after a decision by the owners Gary and Kerry Navo.
A post on Facebook detailed the reason for the announcement, including fears residents could bring the deadly virus to the small regional community.
The Bayview Hotel in Woy Woy (pictured), on the Central Coast is barring anyone who lives in Sydney or Melbourne from entering the business
A post on Facebook detailed the reason for the announcement (pictured), including fears residents could bring the deadly virus to the small regional community
‘I have owned and operated the Bayview Hotel for over 18 years and like us all I have never seen nor lived through such a pandemic,’ the owners wrote.
‘I take our responsibility whilst operating in these times very seriously and the safety of my customers and staff are the forefront of my concerns.
‘We are a community hotel and must at this time do what I believe is best for our community.
‘As of 7am Friday, for the time being all customers whom reside from Sydney or Victoria will not be allowed to enter our business until further notice, in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our local community.’
Pub owners Gary and Kerry Navo (pictured) have been praised for the decision to ban people from Covid hot spots
Hotel manager Chris Mills said the decision ‘put the community before back pockets’.
‘In the current climate we feel it’s responsible for us to look after our community, and look after our customers that live in our immediate area,’ he told Nine News.
He said a tough call had to be made to prevent the virus spreading after what had unfolded in Victoria, with 7,367 active coronavirus cases after a deadly second wave.
‘We don’t want to end up with a situation like Melbourne where nobody is allowed out of their house come 8pm,’ he told the Central Coast Express Advocate.
‘We certainly hope this doesn’t go on for too long. But most people get it and are acutely aware of what’s going on in Melbourne.’
Hotel manager Chris Mills (pictured) said the decision was about putting the community over their back pockets
A COVID marshall in a high visibility vest will be responsible for enforcing the new rule.
They will be checking IDS to make sure Sydneysiders don’t slip through the gaps, as well as recording details of names and addresses at the entry.
While the venue is a popular watering hole for locals it also attracts significant numbers of Sydney residents, particularly over weekends.
The announcement on Facebook attracted more than 200 comments, the majority from supportive locals.
‘It is obvious you care about the community and a very good decision. Stay safe all,’ one woman wrote.
But others thought the restrictions may not go far enough.
A COVID marshall in a high visibility vest will be responsible for enforcing the new rule at the pub’s entry in Woy Woy (pictured)
‘Great plan and one that definitely needs to happen to ensure the safety of everyone,’ one patron said.
‘I do just need to ask what about Newcastle? They have had a few cases/suspected cases lately.’
Dozens of other pubgoers were concerned about whether they would be banned as Central Coast residents who lived locally but commuted and worked in the city.
‘Good idea in theory but totally useless in practise, but for people who live in Woy Woy and commute to work in Sydney, how’s this going to work?’ one man wrote.
‘You won’t know if these people have been in contact with COVID cases in Sydney.’
A sign on the pub door advises patrons of the new ban in place from 7am on Friday August 7
The New South Wales border with Victoria was closed on July 8 for the first time in 100 years.
The decision to shut the border was agreed by both premiers and the Prime Minister in a three-way phone call after NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant recommended the move.
The hard border has been enforced by New South Wales Police and the Australian Defence Force with roadblocks and drones to keep Victorian officers free to battle the state’s outbreak.
Since then, more drastic action has been taken, with any New South Wales residents returning from Victoria now having to undergo a two-week stay in hotel quarantine.
As of Friday, any returning travellers from the coronavirus-hit state will be required to go through Sydney Airport unless they live in NSW border towns.
Residents will then isolate in a government approved hotel for 14 days and will cover the cost themselves with fees starting at $3,000 for one adult.