A squad that's hit the streets to help with COVID-19 compliance at Dubbo's food premises are hearing of some customers being "pretty apathetic" about safety measures.
Dubbo Regional Council environment and health services team leader Ingo Steppat said cafes and restaurant owners were "receptive" to advice but were telling of some members of the public flouting the restrictions put in place by the government.
He urged patrons to do the right thing, pointing to outbreaks in Victoria, where another 532 cases were recorded on Monday, and in Sydney as examples of what could happen without compliance.
The council advised on July 17 its staff would be going to food outlets at the request of NSW local government minister Shelley Hancock to help with COVID-19 public health orders, with a focus on education and reinforcement.
Mr Steppat said by Monday they had visited about 122 cafes and restaurants.
"One of the issues we've been hearing from a lot of the owners of the businesses is some of the public out there are pretty apathetic towards COVID cautions," he said.
"They are being asked to sit in specific spots in restaurants, and they'll just get up and move the tables and chairs, and object to having their names and numbers taken, and things like that."
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He said the rules had come from the NSW government.
"...These are the things that [businesses] have to do, so if they [people] want to go and participate in a cafe or restaurant, they need to comply," he said.
"You can see what happens when they don't comply, you just have to look at Victoria, and now in Sydney too, in some of the bars and places they've had."
Under the government and council guidelines, any food premises that refuses to cooperate, or is trading without observing COVIDSafe requirements, will be reported to police for follow-up, but Mr Steppat says there has not been any need to take further action.
"We're fortunate, because we work so closely with the businesses here in town, they've been pretty receptive of what we've been telling them, so there hasn't been any need to report," he said.
Mr Steppat said the team was working to clear up any confusion about the restrictions.
"The four-square-metre rule, what we've been doing is going along and doing a measurement of the premises and that way we can ascertain how many customers they can actually have in the restaurant or the cafe at any given time," he said.
As well as the social distancing aspect, there was a new requirement to keep an electronic copy of the mandatory sign-in process for patrons, he said.
Cafes and restaurants were forced to close for all but takeaway for two months because of the pandemic earlier this year.
Mr Steppat said no one wanted a return to lockdown, and therefore he viewed the team's role as important.
"I myself find it rewarding, because we're getting an opportunity to assist the people out there to get it right, so they don't fall foul of the virus itself," he said.