Christchurch restaurant fined $20,000 for Covid rule breaches still flouting law

The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant on St Asaph St. Photo: RNZ / Jean Edwards
The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant on St Asaph St. Photo: RNZ / Jean Edwards
A Christchurch restaurant fined $20,000 for failing to comply with the Covid-19 requirements is still not following the rules.

In December, WorkSafe New Zealand said the Lotus-Heart failed to display signage signalling whether it requires My Vaccine Pass use or not in a prominent place, wasn't displaying a QR Code in a prominent place, and didn't have systems or processes to check My Vaccine Pass status of patrons.

The combined infringement notices totalled $20,000.

The restaurant has since reopened and a customer told the NZ Herald when they visited on Wednesday there were still no QR codes in place, no checks of vaccine passes or mask-wearing.

The customer was handed a membership application for the Lotus-Heart Private Contract Association.

A form on the restaurant's website. Image: Supplied
A form on the restaurant's website. Image: Supplied
They were told this meant they did not need to wear a mask, scan in or be vaccinated to enter the premises.

A form on the restaurant's website is then expected to be filled out so members can be added to their database.

The customer said there were many people in the store at the time.

A WorkSafe spokesperson said it is continuing to look into the restaurant.

"WorkSafe will be revisiting to assess compliance.

"If the business is still non-compliant, WorkSafe may take further enforcement action, which can include further infringement notices, prosecution or closure of the business for up to 24 hours," they said.

When contacted by the Herald, a woman who said she was the restaurant's manager declined to comment.

-By Devon Bolger



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