Bar shut down after breaking social distancing rules

Published Thursday 10 September 2020 at 13:56

A Blackburn town centre bar has been closed after police and Public Protection officers found breaches of Covid restrictions.

Bar Life on Northgate was visited on Saturday, September 5th and officers observed crowded conditions with no social distancing, dancing and people sitting very close together.

Dancing is not allowed under the current restrictions and customers at bars must keep a social distance from other people not in their immediate bubble.

The closure takes effect from 9am on Friday, September 11th and is in place for one month; it will be reviewed every seven days. If the premises can show they are Covid-19 safe and can follow the guidelines fully they can be re-opened. The venues can appeal to the Magistrates’ court if they wish.

The closure formed part of a wider piece of work by Public Protection which has seen

four closures and three lesser restrictions. There have been 19 Community Protection Warnings issued, which are written warnings for covid-19 breaches, and seven prohibition notices for premises which were breaching closure rules.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive member for Growth and Development, said:

This sort of behaviour is really inexcusable. The restrictions and guidelines are clear for pubs and bars, and there seems to have been no attempt to follow them here.

This puts customers and staff in danger as it increases the risk of spreading Covid which is increasing across the country among young people in particular. The police officers and Public Protection officers are put at risk as well during these visits if there are too many people in a bar and very little social distancing.

We want our businesses to stay open and for life to carry on in as normal a way as possible, but this will not be able to happen if people do not follow the rules. We all need to help each other to bring our numbers down and keep each other safe.”

New enforcement measures are being used to temporarily close down premises which are clearly not Covid-19 safe through the new Health Protection powers. These are an important part of the Council’s efforts to prevent a full local lockdown, where every business would suffer more than they are now.

Councils were given these new powers in July to take action against premises that are not following the new restrictions, including warnings, prohibitions on numbers and opening hours and full closure.

The Council will continue to act when advice and guidance is not followed or ignored. This is the fairest and most effective way we can help control the spread of the virus and keep our borough safe, secure and open.

In order to re-open, provisions need to be put in place to satisfy Public Health and Public Protection that the owners have control of the situation and won’t commit further breaches that could put many people’s health at risk.

All bars, pubs and restaurants must follow the current restrictions and guidelines issued by the Government – there must be a limit on numbers, proper social distancing in the building, and a full track and trace register in place for all customers.

Full guidance can be found here: Working safely during Covid-19

If you are concerned about a business not following the guidance please report it to

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