Three popular Wollongong party venues have been forced to temporarily close their doors after too many staff members were deemed close contacts to confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Towradgi Beach Hotel, Pepe's on the Beach and The Little Prince took to social media on Tuesday to inform customers they were closed for deep cleaning and contract tracing after confirmed COVID-19 cases had attended all venues.
The Illawarra Hotel was also listed on a public health alert issued by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District but publican Ryan Aitchison said his bar will remain open.
"NSW Health haven't ordered these venues to shut down but I've been led to believe they were forced to because too many of their staff members were close contacts," he said.
"After a thorough investigation only two of our staff members were deemed close contacts and they are in quarantine for the week and have tested negative for two days now.
"We are very lucky here but it's unfortunate for the other businesses, especially in what is supposed to be our redemption month."
The Towradgi pub and The Little Prince will undergo a week-long shutdown while Novotel North Beach venue Pepe's on the Beach announced on Instagram they would be closed until Friday.
Management at all three venues have urged customers to stay safe and get tested if need be.
"Unfortunately COVID crashed the party on the weekend and as such too many of our staff are in isolation as close contacts for us to open and bring you the good times," The Little Prince posted on Facebook.
"We're gutted to shut the doors, they haven't been re-opened for nearly long enough, but the safety of our staff and the community as a whole are by far the most important thing.
"So if you visited with us this weekend, please go and get tested if you have any symptoms."
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District issued the alert for the venues after they were attended by a confirmed case of COVID-19 during their infectious period.
The case is linked to other known local cases. None are linked to returned travellers. The District's Public Health Unit said that there is no evidence to suggest that these cases are infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern.
Contact tracing is underway, and close contacts are being notified directly by NSW Health. People who have been at a venue at the same time as a positive case will receive an alert through the ServiceNSW app.
Given the high volume of location alerts and patrons attending these venues, the LHD is advising the community of the following venues to ensure that anyone who attended them during the dates and times listed knows to come forward for testing immediately.
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Pepe's on the Beach,Wollongong:
The Illawarra Hotel, Wollongong
The Prince, Globe Lane, Wollongong
Towradgi Beach Hotel & Waves, Wollongong
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