Fears stuff-up could see NSW cases surge

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian has blasted the NSW businesses that are still failing to follow COVID-19 rules, warning infected people could be walking around the community as a result.

Speaking at Monday’s press conference, Ms Berejiklian said NSW Health was having a “very difficult” time finding the contacts of some diners that may have been exposed at venues in Sydney because the “people in charge did not do the right thing”.

Health authorities are attempting to track down people who attended the Jasmin1 Lebanese Restaurant in Liverpool on October 25 but have run into issues due to gaps in contact details for customers.

Ms Berejiklian said there was no room for complacency in businesses keeping a record of their customers.

“It is an enormous cause of concerned that there are people that could be infected that have not been identified,” she said.

“Our job is made hader when businesses aren’t doing the right thing. It concerns me that there are people walking around that could have been exposed and have the virus.”

Picture: Gaye Gerard/NCA NewsWire

Ms Berejiklian said authorities would “throw the book” at anyone who defies the current COVID-19 directions.

“The last thing we want to see is a set back in NSW because somebody hasn’t done the right thing,” she said.

“If there are fines to be issued that will occur.”

The premier said authorities never wanted to be heavy handed when it comes to small businesses that are doing it tough during the pandemic, but said they would have “no option” if they continue to flout the rules.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the difficulty of tracking down some potential close contacts has been “quite concerning”

“QR codes are our preferred method, just because of the speed in which the data and the digital format in which that can be transmitted to us to facilitate contact tracing,” she said.

“It is also important that anyone who is attending the restaurant logs in so again, if we have a situation where only one person on the table is logging in, that person then has to recall everyone there and find the mobile phone numbers which can be challenging.

“Everyone has a responsibility to log in and we ask that the businesses also assist us by ensuring that people log in. This really increases the speed and prevents unnecessary chains of transmission.”

Dr Chant encouraged residents to support businesses that were “taking COVID seriously” and had proper protocols in place.

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