Skull & Rose Leichhardt shut for ‘repeated’ breaches

A popular Sydney cafe has been temporarily shut down by police after the business allegedly repeatedly breached Covid-19 directions.

NSW Police said officers have visited the Skull and Rose Cafe in Leichhardt 10 times in the past two weeks and issued the owner five separate fines for breaching the public health orders.

It is not known how much the man was fined, but the maximum fine in NSW for businesses breaching public health orders is $55,000.

Police served the Norton St business owner with an order to close on Saturday morning.

The man has also allegedly been seen on various occasion preparing and serving food without a mask and allowing customers to sit inside and outside the cafe.

Under current restrictions, only takeaway is permitted and everyone needs to wear a mask.

NSW Police will also allege the man refused to display a Covid-19 Safety Plan when asked by officers, which is required under the public health order.

The 44-year-old cafe owner had previously been arrested and charged on two separate occasions; all relating to alleged Covid-19 direction breaches, police said. Those matters are currently before the courts.

Commissioner Mick Fuller said the owner had shown a “blatant disregard” for the community’s health and safety for an extended period of time.

“His business will now stay closed until I’m satisfied there is no further risk to public health,” he said.

During Saturday’s Covid-19 press conference, Commisioner Fuller said “more businesses will be closed over the next 21 days”.

When searching Skull and Rose cafe online, Google Maps states the business is “temporarily closed”.

As the state recorded its largest ever spike in daily cases, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced tougher measures would come into place from Monday to try deter people from leaving their home or finding a loophole within the restrictions.

Fines for breaching public health orders, including lying to contact tracers, will be raised from $1000 to $5000.

A $3000 on the spot fine will be issued to people who breach the two-person exercise rule.