Coronavirus crisis: The George COVID rules breach as 300 party the night away on NYE

About 300 party-goers are understood to have breached New Year’s Eve COVID rules by partying the night away at Perth’s The George.

It’s understood police stumbled across the party while patrolling the Perth CBD last night.

The West Australian understands police will now launch a major investigation into the incident which has set off alarm bells given the new outbreak of COVID-19 in Perth.

Police attended The George as part of a routine inspection around 11.30pm on New Year’s Eve and found the doors locked and the windows blocked out.

Officers could not get in through the front door and so scaled the wall to get inside where they will allege they found “several hundred” people attending a private, ticketed event.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said he had seen vision of many of the guests flouting mask-wearing rules and dancing, with evidence SafeWA QR code posters had been ripped off the walls.

Mr Dawson slammed the venue for its “blatant disregard” and of the COVID restrictions and warned the operators of The George faced fines of up to $250,000 and losing their liquor license over their “selfish behaviour”.

The George’s liquor license is held by a company trading as Jashan Tavern Pty Ltd.

The venue’s Facebook page describes it as “a sophisticated restaurant and bar, featuring lounge & dining areas, private function room and outdoor courtyard.”

A post online from the end of November says the pub would remain shut from Christmas Day until January 11.

A vine lock was chained around the front gates of The George on Saturday.

Empty alcohol glasses, cigarette butts and even masks were scattered through the venue’s front and rear outdoor seating areas.

Coronavirus crisis: The George COVID rules breach as 300 party the night away on NYE

Black out blinds could be seen in the venue’s rear window while the were no SafeWA app Covid QR scan codes visible from the footpath outside the St Georges Terrace bar.

An outraged Police Minister Paul Papalia says he wants a full investigation into the matter, including an investigation into the licensee of the premises.

It’s an incredibly serious offence.

“I understand a full investigation is underway and I would expect that the Director of Liquor Licensing and Police Commissioner assess the licensee to determine whether they should lose their licence.

“Three hundred people breaching COVID protocols in the middle of an outbreak of Delta in Western Australia where we haven’t really confirmed yet that all of the potentially close contacts and casual contacts are clear of COVID – it’s an incredibly serious offence.

“If this is all demonstrated to be true, it’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic.

“There are health directives.

“The vast majority of West Australians have been complying, for two years now where they have sacrificed their own self-interests for the sake of the community.

“And these people appear to have just flaunted everything.

“It’s disgraceful, irresponsible, selfish and dangerous.

“We are trying to give ourselves the time to protect the most vulnerable people in the community.

“So that on February 5 we can open the borders in a safe manner and transition – and this is some people suggesting that none of that matters and their selfish interests are more important than the community.

“We can only hope there wasn’t a person who was positive for COVID in that.”