Essex pub ordered to stop serving after flouting coronavirus shutdown
PUBLISHED: 15:14 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:14 31 March 2020
An Essex pub has been ordered to stop serving customers immediately after ignoring the Prime Minister’s ban on trading during lockdown.
Colchester Borough Council said they and Essex Police were tipped off that The Bonnie Blue Oak, in Oak Road, Tiptree, had reportedly covered the front windows of the pub and were allowing patrons to continue coming in via the rear of the property.
Mike Lilley, council portfolio holder for communities, wellbeing and public safety, said: “The government has 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 face the potential of an unlimited fine if they fail to comply with the notice, 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.”
The pub was issued with a prohibition order on March 30 under new emergency coronavirus legislation after it was found open.
The notice came into effect immediately with no appeal and will stay in effect until the end of the emergency period.
It is the first pub in Colchester to be issued with an order since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The order means the pub must stop selling food or drink for consumption at the pub or face the possibility of an unlimited fine. The pub may continue to run a takeaway food service only.
The order was made by the council’s licensing team and was supported by Essex Police.
The first pub to receive a prohibition order under new government powers was The Orient in Speake, near Liverpool, after it remained open after March 20, when Mr Johnson ordered all pubs, bars and leisure centres to close.
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