Local councils in the North West have used new powers, under the COVID-19 regulations, to close establishments after what was described in one case as a ‘flagrant disregard’ for the new rules.
Concerns were raised regarding failing to ensure social distancing, overcrowding and queue management. One venue had hosted a wedding reception for in excess of 100 people, and was later found to be crowded with people taking advantage of the 'Eat Out To Help Out' scheme.
The council enforced the shutdown of the premises after repeated visits where advice and guidance was provided and final warnings given.
In respect of one of the businesses, the local authority confirmed that they were considering further action to ensure there was no repeat of the incident and emphasised that they would not allow venues to put people’s safety at risk. The local police indicated that premises would be named and shamed and there would be consequences.
One example in Manchester was ordered to close by council officers due to overcrowding, but has since been allowed to reopen with strict control measures.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that there were 54 reported breaches of the coronavirus regulations in an eight hour period last weekend.
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