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Pubs warned lock-ins illegal

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Licensing risk: pubs must not organise or promote private ‘lock-ins’ under coronavirus social distancing measures
Licensing risk: pubs must not organise or promote private ‘lock-ins’ under coronavirus social distancing measures

Related tags: coronavirus, Public house

Pubs have been warned that it is illegal to host lock-ins under the Government’s social distancing measures and they could risk their licence being revoked.

The warning comes after police in Crawley, West Sussex, said it had heard pubs were promoting paid lock-ins.

Andy Grimsey, partner at licensing law firm Poppleston Allen, reiterated that pubs were only allowed to operate as ‘food-to-go’ providers and could face many legal implications from other activities.

They said: “The current law is perfectly clear – pubs should be closed. They are only permitted to provide delivery or takeaway services in accordance with their premises licence, updated planning permission (which allows pubs and restaurants to do so) and the updated Covid-19 guidance issued on the GOV.uk website. 

“Lock-ins are clearly an offence and, in addition to possible fines, pubs could face a licence review leading to revocation.”

Sussex Police has warned that it will check each pub in Crawley to make sure they are compliant with the Government mandate.

The Sussex Police team in the town tweeted: “We’ve also been hearing of local pubs sending information about paid lock-ins, also ignoring any lockdown rule currently in place.

“Our licensing officers will be checking EVERY pub in the area to ensure all establishments are keeping to the guidelines. #EA017 #CRAWLEY #ESECTION​.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told pubs, cafés, bars and restaurants to close earlier this month (Friday 20 March).

He since mandated a three-week lockdown, with the public told to not leave the house apart from essential trips such as buying groceries, accessing medical help or one form of exercise a day.

Related topics: Licensing law

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