Bridgnorth pub forced to shut for 48 hours for breaking Covid restrictions

A pub in Bridgnorth has been ordered to temporarily shut after allegedly breaching Covid restrictions.

A pub in Bridgnorth has been ordered to close
A pub in Bridgnorth has been ordered to close

The pub, which has not been named, has been ordered to close for 48 hours by Shropshire Council.

The council said it had received numerous reports of pubs failing to abide by coronavirus restrictions, particularly those that do not normally provide a substantial meal.

The authority said the issue had been made worse by customers ignoring the single household and support bubble restrictions that apply indoors.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council's trading standards and licensing operations manager, said: "I am obviously extremely disappointed that we have had to resort to formal enforcement action in the case of the Bridgnorth premises; however, the risks for our Shropshire communities are far too serious for us not to take an extremely robust enforcement position.

"I must warn licensees that significant contraventions will inevitably lead to enforcement action. This not only includes restriction notices, but also prosecution and significant financial fixed penalties, as well as licence reviews that may ultimately lead to their licence being revoked.

“We do understand that these are extremely challenging times and that there are pubs who are literally fighting for survival. We want to reassure pub owners that we will support them to comply with the restrictions; however, the increasingly serious position that we find ourselves in means that owners must either ensure compliance with all the restrictions, or they must make the very difficult decision to close.

“We will continue to monitor the levels of compliance over the Christmas period and will target and take action against those pubs where there is clear disregard for the safety of their customers and staff.

“I do want to thank all those pubs who are following the rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and ask that they continue to take this responsibility very seriously.”

It comes after numerous pubs received warning letters from the authorities advising them on updated Covid measures.

Both Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin boroughs are under Tier 2, which means pubs and restaurants are allowed to open until 11pm but can only serve people alcohol with a "substantial meal".

People who live in separate households are not allowed to mix together indoors unless they are part of the same support bubble.

Shropshire local policing commander, Superintendent Mo Lansdale, said: “We will be working with Shropshire Council’s licensing officers and offering support and guidance to pubs and restaurants around the new restrictions and their responsibilities. However, where there are clear breaches we will not hesitate to take enforcement action.

“We know it has been a challenging year and I’ve been incredibly proud of the support from our local communities, with the vast majority adhering to the restrictions that have been put in place.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is we continue this over the Christmas period to ensure we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, added: “The protection of the health and safety of the public is our number one priority.

“The current hospitality restrictions place significant onus on both pubs and customers to comply with the restrictions, and I urge everyone to step up and do their bit to ensure pubs are safe and that customers, staff and the wider community is protected from the spread of the virus.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that coronavirus is highly infectious, and it thrives on contact between people. If the restrictions are not followed, the risk to individuals and our NHS is extremely high. I cannot emphasise enough that to keep everyone safe, you must reduce the number of people you are in contact with and the amount of time that you spend together. Unfortunately, this also applies to our family and friends that we hold dear.”

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