Pendle bar closed down for flouting Covid-19 restrictions
A Pendle bar has been forced to temporarily close after repeatedly breaking current Covid-19 restrictions.
Chewie’s Bar in Church Street, Barnoldswick, must close at 6pm tonight for seven days.
The direction was served following a number of visits by Pendle Council’s environmental health officers and police.
At each visit the owners were given advice and guidance on how to become Covid-19 Secure but environmental health officer Michael Duck said this was largely ignored.
“We’ve been trying to work with Chewie’s for a number of weeks to ensure they are meeting the regulations.
“Unfortunately, at each of our visits it was clear they were putting the health of local people at risk.
“We observed no social distancing measures, including tables too close together and people standing at the bar mixing with other households.
“The music was on too loud which meant customers had to stand very close to hear one another and they didn’t have a cleaning routine between customers playing pool.”
Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council, said: "Following public health concerns, we've issued a direction under the coronavirus regulations, which means Chewie’s Bar cannot currently open.
“We know from our visits that the owners made little attempt to comply with the measures to protect its customers from Covid-19.
“This is a serious issue and we had no choice but to close the business to stop the spread of the virus and protect local people.
“We recognise that businesses have had a tough time and the last thing we want is for them to have to close again.
“But it’s vitally important that businesses put the right measures in place.
“The direction will be reviewed in seven days. However, only when the owners of Chewie’s Bar can demonstrate to us that they have put the correct measures in place can they can reopen.”
Information and advice for businesses on becoming COVID-19 Secure is on Pendle Council’s website – www.pendle.gov.uk/covidsecure
Coun. David Whipp, deputy leader of Pendle Council and councillor for the Craven area, added: “I’m saddened that a Barnoldswick business has had to be closed down in this way and I hope it can reopen soon, with proper precautions in place.
"The risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading indoors is very great. That's why it's so important for venues like this to get it right to reduce transmission among their customers.
“All of us can take steps to minimise passing the virus on to others and this is particularly important for businesses with lots of customers.
"We've already seen local venues having to provide customer contact details because positive cases have been identified within their clientele.
"With the virus spreading widely, it's crucial that everyone plays their part to reduce the risk of vulnerable people catching the disease."
Chewie’s Bar can appeal against the order to the magistrates’ court.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of public health for Lancashire County Council, said: "Whilst the majority of our pubs and restaurants are acting responsibly, it was disappointing to see lack of social distancing being maintained to keep customers safe at this venue.
"It is important we take measures such as this to ensure there isn't an increase in cases which could subsequently trigger a wide economic lock down.
"I urge every business to play their part to protect our communities from a second wave by strictly following Covid safe guidance."