Critical NSW pub virus rules written by blood-sucking lobby

Recall that yesterday it became plain that pubs and clubs are ground zero in the NSW virus fight after spreading from the Crossroads Hotel:

It’s all in hand, at Domain:

As of Friday, new restrictions on pubs apply in NSW.

Bookings are now capped at 10 people (instead of the 20 that were previously allowed), all patrons must sign in and be seated and there is a maximum of 300 people or one person per four square metres inside the venue.

Pubs must also register their COVID Safety plans with the NSW Government and have a dedicated hygiene marshall to oversee social distancing, cleaning and hygiene at the venue.

It is logical that medical experts the pub lobby wrote these rules. Via Crikey:

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the lobbying handbook: if you want favourable regulations, write them yourself.

The powerful Australian Hotels Association took that to new extremes this week with a promise to introduce new restrictions in New South Wales pubs to allow them to continue to open — even in the face of a growing outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south west.

In an extraordinary show of just who is in charge of the state’s coronavirus response, Premier Gladys Berejiklian handed over the microphone to AHA’s NSW chief John Whelan at a press conference on Tuesday, thanking Whelan’s organisation for “proactively coming forward” and working with the government to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading at large gatherings.

“It was actually the AHA’s advice to us which said that if you reduce bookings from 20 to 10, it reduces the likelihood for people who may mingle,” Berejiklian said.

“This is a good example of industry and government working together to reduce the risk during a pandemic.”

While acknowledging the virus spreads more rapidly in indoor environments (such as pubs), the premier declared that the new restrictions, developed in partnership with the industry, would be enough to curtail the virus without further shutdowns.

The new restrictions include reducing the number of people sitting at a table from 20 to 10, and stationing hygiene marshals at pubs to take details and ensure businesses are meeting hygiene and “COVID-safe” standards such as socially distancing.

If the AHA’s motivations weren’t already clear, The Guardian revealed on Wednesday that the AHA, alongside powerful gaming lobby ClubsNSW, had been in urgent talks with the government since the cluster at the Crossroads Hotel began, in an effort to avoid measures that would potentially see the industry, or parts of the industry, shut down again.

Both groups had reportedly issued blunt warnings against further shutdowns, saying the move would cripple operators and result in some businesses not reopening.

With NSW staring down a potential surge of cases stemming from the Crossroads cluster, it raises the question of whether the new restrictions will do anything to slow the spread of the virus, or if it’s just a case of the industry writing its own rules.

Crikey asked the NSW government who would be responsible for placing the marshals in pubs and policing the new restrictions. It didn’t respond to questions, but Crikey understands the marshals will be employed, trained and supervised by the hotels themselves.


David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. DominicMEMBER

    “.. if you want favourable regulations, write them yourself.”

    Sensible people — get on the front foot!

    • Why wait a full week before implementing them? These rule come into effect next Friday.

      This shows zero understanding of exponential growth.

    • Nobody seems to understand yet that this virus could be much worse than people expect.

      1) There is unlikely to be a vaccine, ever, just like there is no vaccine for the common cold, ebola, HIV etc
      2) Immunity is short lived (weeks to months according to recent studies), so there is no such thing as “herd immunity” and never will be.
      3) People are not only dying but also suffering brain, heart and lung damage. Getting it is just not an option.
      4) People are getting the virus repeatedly in just a few months, and subsequent infections are worse (see recent Chris Martenson interview at

      So this could turn out to be an endemic infection that will always be around, and which everyone has to avoid at all costs.

      You can imagine the impact on society. It will be the worst thing to happen to humanity, ever. It could be civilization-ending.

      No more tourism, no air travel, business will change completely, no restaurants, etc

      So far, crickets. Nobody is discussing this…..

      • I agree.

        Everybody is rather blasé about this.

        Just imagine what it would do to the global population and to the way we do business. Talk about a forest fire burning through the global population.

      • There’s a vaccine for ebola that’s been available for a while now – Ervebo. You might not have heard about it because Ebola isn’t in the news any more.

        All of the rest doesn’t match how the immune system works, sorry. Too much panic, not enough facts.

        • No vaccines for common cold, HIV, cytomegalovirus, Dengue, Chikungunya, human orthopneumovirus, etc. Your optimism is misplaced.

          And what else in my post “doesn’t match how the immune system works”? As far as I know, I am reporting solid data.

      • “No more tourism, no air travel, business will change completely, no restaurants, etc”

        The only thing on that list that has to suffer on that list is air travel which many people live without already or only use on a discretionary basis. And who’s to say that’s a bad thing?

        Everything else on that list depends on our politicians. We were almost there; if we had really restricted air travel and quarantined people off the mainland (VIC corruption, government incompetence) we could have had our restaurants, local tourism, and Aussie lifestyle. Even better we would of been the envy of the world both in terms of lifestyle and economically – as long as we kept air travel closed and shut off permanently. Air travel IMO no longer meets the cost/benefit analysis economically nor w.r.t quality of life IMO in the new normal.

        There would of been local tourism which for Australia is great for our current account. Many people traveling locally would of started taking more pride in our country and its history fighting for the issues that actually matter; if you can’t just pack your bags and run your more incentivized to try to make this place a better place.

      • Rich old people and club executives don’t go to pubs – they own them and go to a nice restaurant. gotta keep that pokie cash flowing from the suckers.

  2. kannigetMEMBER

    Do they actually think people stand around in pubs like the sims in the game SIMS 4? just standing a good distance away from each other, muttering gibberish into the air and occasionally walking away for no discernible reason.

    I have actually been enjoying going to the pubs of late if I can get in, nice and quiet and I can talk to people but there is defiantly no real social distancing….

    • Indeed, one my mates who had arranged to have a table of 20 in a pub this weekend to celebrate a birthday discovered that he could now only invite 10 so instead of him booking one table of 20 he booked a table of 10 and got one of the other guys to book another table of 10 beside it. Simples….eliminates the threat of contagion just like that and the state of NSW now no longer has a problem!!

  3. All this assures is that pubs will completely disappear in their current form and pokies too.

  4. Fabian AlderseyMEMBER

    I’m having lunch in a NSW pub now. Had to register my name at the front to come in (had to make a booking for lunch in the first place). It’s all very socially distanced, hand sanitiser everywhere. They appear to be doing what they can.

      • Fabian AlderseyMEMBER

        It was in Queanbeyan, so bordering Canberra. Judged the risk as fairly low. But yeah, even with the measures they took, I’m still totally aware of transmission possibilities. It was extremely socially distanced though. I didn’t go to the UFC last weekend, cancelled a booking we had at a pub which had hit capacity. Different crowd, and I thought the risk of someone who’d come back from Melbourne and was supposed to be self-isolating but thought “ah, what are the odds” was a bit too high…

  5. No surprises there. Our business and political leadership are both casually corrupt.

  6. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Most pubs have a very stable patronage, but.a place like Crossroad Hotel however have people from all over Australia, literally. Instead of applying a draconian rule to every pubs in NSW, they should identify the few ‘mega pubs’, put a COVID popup clinic at the door and swab everyone going in.

  7. Display NameMEMBER

    Taken a leaf from the American Legislative Exchange Commission ALEC that the GOP have used to ghost industry favourable law for decades.

  8. Scab Quarantine Security

    While a developing country like Thailand requires people to log their movements via QR codes before entering premises, there are widespread PPE and sanitisation measures in place that business must abide by in order to operate, NSW let it be open slather in the pubs with our capacity for tracking infections the equivalent of posting a sheet of paper on a noticeboard saying you might be sick if you visited a particular pub.

  9. Dumbfounded has two sides:

    Side 1, Opening up public venues, like pubs, while on an upward infections trajectory.
    Side 2, Great! Pubs open, fckn let’s go!

    Like to say, you get what you deserve, but these people (Side 2) also sneeze, cough, burp, speak, shout, exhale, touch, like us all.

  10. PolarBearMEMBER

    Wow that’s a breakthrough – reduce bookings from 20 people to 10! Wish I had thought of that! It’s like Gladys other breakthrough- reduce weddings to 150 people. I’d be scared if I was coronavirus- only 150 people to infect at a wedding…starting in a weeks time!

  11. bolstroodMEMBER

    These polticians are playing with fire.
    What is happening in Victoria demands a total lockdown, anything less is murder.
    Has NSW Gladys not been watching the events in Victoria unfold ?Has she never heard of the Cuationary Principle ?
    Sheer dereliction of duty to not close Pubs and Clubs and Casino’s, these are not essential services.

  12. Lock it down and keep it locked down until it’s eliminated. Only then will be able to get on with our lives.