South Tyneside pub forced to close for failing 'to ensure social distancing rules are observed'
A pub is to become the first in the area to be closed down by council bosses for allegedly failing to ensure social distance regulations are followed.
South Tyneside Council has used new legislation to issue a direction notice to shut The Albion Gin & Ale House, in Walter Street, Jarrow, for seven days after a number of complaints to the authority about apparent breaches of lockdown restrictions.
The order begins from 7pm on Thursday, September 17, until 7pm on Thursday, September 24, with the business potentially facing an unlimited court fine if it fails to comply.
A statement from the council said: “Despite visits to the venue and assurances from the management, the pub has failed to ensure social distancing rules are observed, with customers permitted to behave in ways which contravene them.
“The pub’s owners will now be required to make sure appropriate measures are in place to protect staff and customers before it can be re-open safely.”
A further 11 premises are also being informed via letter that they have been identified as a “premises of concern” following council spot checks.
A council spokesman said: “As we have said time and time again, we will not hesitate to take action against premises which fail to comply with the restrictions that have been put in place to protect the public and limit the spread of Covid-19.
“The majority of pubs and restaurants are being responsible and taking this situation very seriously. They are working extremely hard to keep their businesses running during these challenging times while safeguarding their staff and customers.
“However, there are others that are continually putting the health and safety of our residents at risk, despite significant efforts being made by council officers to support and guide businesses to ensure they are complying with the Covid-secure measures in place.
“Closing a business is not a decision that is taken lightly – we want businesses to keep trading.
"But we have been left with no other option in this particular case. We cannot afford to be lax and need businesses to comply now more than ever.”