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Non-takeaway pubs could lose licence if they continue to open

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Licence warning: new legislation has come into force that will punish venues that are still open to the public
Licence warning: new legislation has come into force that will punish venues that are still open to the public

Related tags: Coronavirus

Pubs that are still open for people to consume food and drink on the premises will face prohibition notices, potentially unlimited fines and the loss of their alcohol licence, new legislation has stated.

The list of businesses that must close include pubs, nightclubs, and bars (including bars in hotels or members’ clubs).

The Government said these venues should have closed from Saturday 21 March and the measures will be “reviewed every 28 days to consider the necessity and effectiveness in light of changing circumstances”.

As of 2pm last Saturday (21 March), closures are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health and businesses that operate in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence.

Monitoring compliance

Environmental health and trading standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support if appropriate.

However, pubs can still offer takeaways during this period and planning rules have been relaxed to assist this.

But, operators who are offering takeaway or delivery services must not including alcohol if their licence does not permit off-sales.

Save lives

Local Government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We recognise the pressure the emergency Covid-19 restrictions place on small businesses, which is why the Government has announced an unprecedented packaged of support to help businesses and workers.

“But we must follow the medical advice. That means staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

“So far, we have seen this crisis bring out the best in us, but some people are risking the safety of others by failing to act on medical advice. People must do this immediately to save people’s lives.”

Business secretary Alok Sharma urged businesses to look carefully at the package of measures the Government has announced and allow them to comply with the new regulations.

Related topics: Legislation, UnitedWeStand

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