“No PINs have been issued within the Northern Beaches Police Area Command at this stage,” a NSW police spokeswoman said. “The seating was put out by Centre Management security in error and have since been packed away.”
A Westfield Warringah Mall spokeswoman said they operated within COVID Safe protocols.
“Take away food service is permitted by our food court operators and seating is only provided for customer convenience and not for the consumption of food,” she said.
“Our customer experience team have been asking customers to move on.”
Additional signage will be provided and Westfield will “work with retail partners to remind them of their COVIDSafe Protocol obligations”, the spokeswoman added.
A spokesman for SafeWork NSW said they “will make enquiries with the management of the shopping centre”.
Herald readers were divided on whether people were doing the right thing at the mall saying that the stay at home rule “is advice, not an order.”
“If shops are open people will shop there,” one wrote.
“We went around 11.30am and about 15 per cent of people were not wearing masks,” one lady wrote.
“A lot of people were sitting in the lounges and eating whilst sitting down. Nobody was enforcing the rules regarding take away.”
Another wrote: “People have understandably been misled into believing that COVID-19 is rife across the whole of the northern beaches. The scope and breadth of the lockdown to the whole of the Northern Beaches was a mistake, as was the political decision to do so and to communicate it nationally as a “Northern Beaches” cluster.”
Another wrote: “Not into the shame and blame games, so popular in this pandemic, but really! Cafes in the lockdown zone should not even open.”
Nigel Gladstone is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.