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‘Follow the guidelines’, warns R&CA as COVID hotspot emerges

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
22 July 2020 1 minute readShare
Wes Lambert

The Restaurant & Catering Association has cautioned venues to be more aware of the guidelines in their state around running a COVID-safe business as a restaurant in New South Wales emerges as a major hotspot.

Earlier this week, Thai Rock Restaurant in Wetherill Park, NSW, was revealed to be the venue of a COVID-19 outbreak, when a staff member contracted the disease while asymptomatic.

As of 22 July, the restaurant is the source of a cluster of 37 cases of the coronavirus.

Speaking to MyBusiness, Restaurant & Catering Association chief executive Wes Lambert said the industry is working very closely with businesses in the industry to ensure they not only understand the COVID guidelines but are following them.

“Each state in Australia has a different COVID-safe plan and COVID-safe requirements. In New South Wales, the government is bringing back some restrictions that start this week for restaurants, cafés, coffee shops that have been in place for hotels since last week,” Mr Lambert said.

“It’s very important that businesses follow those guidelines, which the cornerstone is tracking and tracing, which is the fastest way to track and trace what will be inevitable clusters and outbreaks in a suppression strategy.”

But according to Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance director of policy Emilie Dye, Thai Rock closely followed NSW Health regulations and closed as soon as they learnt of the positive case.

She said every staff member got tested and self-isolated, and that the owners of Thai Rock have spoken with NSW Health three to four times each day to ensure they were doing everything in their power to stop the spread.

As well as the owners and all employees and other potential contacts self-isolating, Ms Dye said Thai Rock carefully recorded all of their guests’ information according to the NSW requirements.

“The owners and employees of Thai Rock have gone above and beyond to stop the spread of COVID-19, and yet, many thoughtlessly blame them for the spread of a virus we all know to be highly contagious,” she said.

“Even the most successful businesses fear a case of COVID-19 among their staff could ruin them. But on top of closing up shop, Thai Rock has also faced undeserved media outrage.

“COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s life and we all want a scapegoat. But now is not the time to cast blame, especially on family-owned businesses. Don’t bankrupt the hands that feed us.”

‘Follow the guidelines’, warns R&CA as COVID hotspot emerges
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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