Prohibition order for pub breaching coronavirus restrictions

A pub in south Liverpool has been issued with a prohibition order after it was found to be open, in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Licensing officers were tipped off last weekend that The Orient in Speke was open, in contravention of government orders last Friday night for entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure premises to close.

The pub, on Eastern Avenue, was served with a notice yesterday to cease trading or face the possibility of an unlimited fine.

It is the first pub in Liverpool to be issued with a prohibition order since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The action by Liverpool City Council has been supported by Merseyside Police.

City Manager Kevin Johnson said: “The government have been really clear that many places, including pubs and bars, should close as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

“It is really important that landlords understand we will take action against them if we find they are opening in breach of the rules. They are there for good reason: to limit as far as possible the number of people getting the virus.

“They face the potential of an unlimited fine if we prosecute, as well as the possibility that we will review their licence.

“Where we receive evidence of premises opening illegally, we will investigate and take action, because they are acting irresponsibly and putting lives at risk.”

Liverpool community policing Superintendent Diane Pownall said: “We would strongly support the local authority in taking action against any licensed, or other, premises which are found to be in breach of government instruction on isolation and social distancing.

“Some people may think they are doing no harm behind closed doors but in reality they are selfishly putting themselves, their families and their wider community at risk.

“Department of Health guidance is that the Covid-19 virus is spread by close human contact which is why social distancing and self-isolation has been introduced.

“We appreciate that business owners are feeling the financial impact of having to temporarily close their businesses but these rules are in place for the protection and benefit of everybody.

“I would urge anyone who is aware of any business which is in breach of the government instruction to contact us so that we can take the appropriate action in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

A full list of premises that have to close due to coronavirus restrictions can be found here.

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