National News

Panthers club fined for COVID breaches

The Penrith Panthers have lost big two weekends in a row, with its leagues club copping a $10,000 fine after footage showed fans breaching COVID safety requirements during last weekend's NRL grand final.

The footage showed excited patrons mingling, hugging and drinking while standing during the team's 20-26 loss to the Melbourne Storm.

NSW Liquor & Gaming director of compliance Dimitri Argeres said fans should have known better.

"It's not fair on the club, its staff or the community," he said.

"At the same time, venues need to make sure they are adequately implementing their safety plans, particularly when higher patron numbers are expected due to special events."

The leagues club was not the only venue caught out on grand final night, with ANZ Stadium fined $5000 for allowing patrons to congregate in bar areas to watch the match.

Two other venues at Sydney Olympic Park - The Brewery at the Novotel and the Locker Room - were also issued $5000 fines.

Mr Argeres said excitement was not an excuse.

"Sporting events build up anticipation and create lots of excitement, we get that," he said.

"But they also create exactly the types of situation we're trying to avoid - crowds that mingle and turn into one big group of close contacts.

"Don't forget life isn't quite back to normal yet and if we want to enjoy summer with our friends and families, we need to keep COVID transmission low."

© AAP 2020