Town centre bar fined for COVID-19 rule breach

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Town centre bar fined for COVID-19 rule breach

Post by Wirral Council News » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:20 am

The first Wirral pub to fall foul of the latest COVID-19 regulations has been hit with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice.

Sue’s Bar, which is located on Argyle Street in Birkenhead, received the sanction after licensing enforcement officers visited the premises on Sunday 27th September.

Despite the owners and staff receiving wide-ranging advice and support over a number of weeks aimed at making the bar COVID-19 secure, officers observed a number of breaches of the law during their visit.

They found: 

there was no table service system in place to enable customers to remain seated

customers were ordering alcohol and being served at the bar area

face coverings were not being worn by bar staff or customers when not seated

All of the above meant a lack of social distancing in the premises and an increased risk to customers.

On 30th September, the formal notification of the fixed penalty notice of £1,000 was issued, which must be paid within 28 days.

Wirral Council leaders have expressed their disappointment at having to take action against a local business, particularly given the support the council has sought to give hospitality premises, knowing the difficulties that sector is going through at this time.

The council has put together a whole toolkit of support for them and have a dedicated team of officers visiting premises face to face to inform them of the evolving regulations and guidance and help make them as COVID-secure as they can be.

The council introduced a scheme for businesses which encourages them to work through a checklist of measures, declare themselves ‘COVID-secure’ and display special stickers and posters to that effect to give customers confidence that they were entering a safe environment.

Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “We are at a time when the rate of infection from COVID-19 in Wirral and the rest of Merseyside is considerably higher than in other areas. For that reason, it is more important than ever that everyone plays their part in helping to stem that increase and bring this situation under control in our area.

“Our hospitality sector is central to this. We know that these businesses are being hit particularly hard at the moment due to the restrictions on the way they operate. However, it is only through compliance with these restrictions that they are able to open at all right now. The regulations are there to keep people safe and minimise the potential for any infection spread, while allowing businesses to keep trading. 

“As a council, we are doing everything we can to support businesses to be as COVID-secure as they can, which will ensure that officers do not have to resort to enforcement action. That is the last thing we want to do because we know a heavy fine in the current climate could seriously jeopardise the viability of a business.

“We know through the hundreds of visits officers have made to hospitality businesses that the vast majority understand what they need to do and why and are only too happy to do whatever it takes to keep operating.

“However, this particular case is extremely disappointing. Despite receiving advice and support during a number of visits over the past few weeks, the bar was continuing to operate against the regulations and licensing officers were left with no choice but to take action.”

Wirral businesses can download a toolkit for guidance, support and advice on Covid-19 only and sign up to become ‘Covid-secure’ accredited.

If anyone has concerns about the operations or procedures of any local business, they are able to let the council know.

Read full article:- http://wirralview.com/covid-19-news/tow ... ule-breach

Published by Wirral Council News on Tue, 06 Oct 2020 www.wirral.gov.uk

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