CLUBS and pubs in Leeton shire may have finally re-opened their doors to the community once again, but police have warned that doesn't mean a free pass for bad behaviour.
Police have said they will be out in force this long weekend to ensure "the new norm" at licensed venues is being adhered to in Leeton shire.
The Leeton Liquor Accord has called on patrons at all venues to continue taking personal responsibility serious during the COVID-19 pandemic, including maintaining 1.5 metres physical distancing while at these locations.
A number of licenced venues are implementing strategies and have four key messages for all patrons:
1 Upon entry all patrons must sign in. This is a legislative requirement.
2 Patrons are to be seated at tables - no mingling at the bar.
3 Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres at all times.
4 Listen and follow all instructions from venue staff.
Murrumbidgee Police District Licensing Supervisor Brett Ryan said while it was good news restrictions were easing, there was still a long way to go.
"Most venues haven't resumed normal activity, but that will increase as restrictions are lifted," he said.
"In the meantime, this weekend will be trial and error with a number of increased patrons.
"The Leeton Liquor Accord and venues ask for patience from the public and are urged to act sensibly during this transition phase for all venues.
"With the landscape changing constantly, rest assured all members of Leeton Liquor Accord are keeping up-to-date and will inform patrons of any significant changes within their own venues."
Officers from the Murrumbidgee Police District will be paying a visit to venues to ensure the new rules are being followed.
This is all part of the NSW Police Force's Operation Pariac to ensure compliance with COVID-19 public health orders at licensed venues.
Operation Pariac is regularly conducted by general duties and specialist licensing police in our region, but will have an altered focus for this time around.
"Police in our region have been working closely with industry and business owners to ensure that they are able to operate safe environments for their customers, while making the public feel confident about returning to a COVID-safe venue," Sergeant Ryan said.
"Police will also be targeting alcohol-related crime, including assaults, anti-social behaviour and public order incidents."
Double demerits will also be enforced on the region's roads.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said this is the first long weekend since restrictions have eased and implored the community to be responsible and drive safely.
"There is no excuse to get behind the wheel and flagrantly flout the law," he said.
"The road rules have not changed, and we make no apologies for stopping selfish road users whose irresponsible driving put themselves and others at risk."