It had seemed like nothing could stop Wollongong's Vintage High Tea but the scaled-back event has now been cancelled after tougher government restrictions on indoor gatherings were introduced.
Organiser Darlene Maher has been forced to call off the event, promoted by her Girls Big Day Out outfit, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted a rule of only one person per 4 square metres would be enforced.
Police attention had already been drawn to the High Tea, slated for today at the Sage Hotel, over concerns it was to be held in violation of restrictions on events with 100 people, in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
But organisers had insisted police were satisfied numbers would be well below 100.
Ms Maher had earlier told stallholders in the event's beauty and bling market that there would be 120 guests. On Friday she told the Mercury that she had brought numbers down to 80, and then with several ticketholders deciding not to go, there would be 55 guests.
"Those who don't want to attend have been given refunds," she said.
Ms Maher said stallholders had earlier been offered a place at a future event, but she would now agree to refund any stallholder who opts out of Saturday.
Measures were in place to space out tables and provide hand sanitiser, and have tongs on each table for picking up delicacies.
Tongs would be available on the tables "to select your high tea delicacies" while gloves would also be on hand for those who want them. The Sage Hotel detailed additional hygiene measures, having "stepped up our cleaning protocols in our hotel".
But when the 4 square metre rule was announced, organisers had no choice but to sadly draw the curtain on the whole affair.
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