Burnley club ordered to tighten social distancing rules after police and council visit

A Burnley town centre club has been ordered to tighten its social distancing rules as council officers and police stepped up enforcement of coronavirus measures.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 2:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 2:30 pm

They were out and about in Burnley at the weekend following Friday’s announcement that the borough being released from the tightest of COVID-19 restrictions from Wednesday.

After a visit to Club Panamas in Hammerton Street, bosses were ordered to toughen their stance on social distancing. They immediately took steps to do so putting new guidelines on its Facebook page and giving new instructions to door staff.

A Burnley council spokesman said: “We’ve been advising licensed premises in relation to social distancing guidance since the sector came out of lockdown on July 4th.

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Club Panamas has been ordered to tighten its social distancing

“We have tried to help businesses to operate safely, and give customers confidence that when they visit a Burnley venue the measures in place will reduce the risk of them contracting coronavirus and taking it home.

“Advice was stepped up in the run up to the Bank Holiday, and some premises have been targeted with enforcement notices. Further action was taken over the weekend in partnership with the police. Venues and their customers need to follow the rules. Not following the rules is both selfish and stupid.”

Sgt Gary Hennighan, the police’s licensing officer, said: “Our officers were out and about in Burnley town centre with council officials visiting licensed premises.

“There were some concerns about social distancing in some venues including clustering at the bar, clustering in groups and too many people inside. We took bodycam footage. We visited Club Panamas where advice has been given.”

The venue posted on Facebook: “There will be a few alterations tonight in the venue after further guidance from the council.”

They included a warning that capacity would be reduced; the lights will stay on; there would be door charges, ID, track and trace and hand sanitizer on entry; no dancing; card payments preferred; and reduced flashing lights.”

Club Panamas owner Damian Millken said: “The police came in over the weekend and sent some bodycam footage to the council. We were asked to tighten our social distancing and were happy to do so. We posted new guidelines on Facebook and asked our door staff to enforce them.

“I think it was just a case of people going to the bar or the toilet and maybe one or two not observing the rules. Now anyone who does not follow the guidelines will be asked to leave.”

Already two licensed premises in East Lancashire have shut permanently after being closed for flouting coronavirus rules – The Duke of Wellington pub in Great Harwood and Harvey’s Bar in Cow Lane, Burnley.