Owner sets record straight on 'COVID-19 lockdown'
LAWRENCE General Store owner Steve McFarlane has dispelled rumours about his shop going into COVID-19 lockdown.
Earlier this week, a handful of social media posts claimed the store had been visited by a resident that had tested positive to the coronavirus. Another post followed shortly after, claiming that government authorities forced the shop to close and disinfect the premises.
"We have not been informed by government," Mr McFarlane said.
"We decided to close and clean the shop ourselves to protect all of our staff and customers."
On Thursday, customers were greeted by a sign out the front that instructed them to remain in their cars or at the front door.
"To try and protect both our customers and staff … we will come and take your order there and return with your goods," the sign stated.
"If you feel more comfortable…we will be happy to deliver to your door."
Mr McFarlane said that restricting customers from entering the shop was mainly due to others failing to comply with new government health and safety laws.
"There have been a couple of incidents where people who should be isolating aren't doing the right thing and coming into the shop," he said.
"To the best of my knowledge, no one has tested positive in Lawrence, but I don't want to run the risk when people aren't doing the right thing in the first place."
On-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses found breaking social isolation or social distancing rules came into effect at midnight on Wednesday.
However, more serious offences can lead to jail time of up to six months.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that no fines had been issued in the Clarence Valley.