australia

Pub owner charged, fined $22k after allegedly allowing sit-in diners under lockdown

An Echuca pub owner has been accused of violating directions from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer after allegedly allowing customers to dine during the lockdown.

He was also fined more than $22,000 for violating Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Officers went to the Pastoral Hotel last night and arrested Trevor Andrews, who was taken to Echuca Police Station, where he was charged and released on bail.

“They had about 10 police officers and three health inspectors with them,” Andrews said.

‘They don’t understand’

Andrews said he would “definitely” fight the charges.

“Not a single politician has had a pay cut since the start of the COVID-19, they don’t understand what it’s like to be in business,” he said.

Andrews posted on social media earlier this week that he had “constitutional rights” that allowed him to open.

He said he stayed open during previous lockdowns and kept the bar open.

The hotel now only serves food to customers via takeaway and delivery, in line with the restrictions.

“Someone posted a picture of me with Ned Kelly – I loved it,” he said.

Mr Andrews will appear before the Echuca Magistrates Court in December.

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