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Coronavirus: Fines for pubs and takeaways that don’t follow the rules

Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving

Posted on 30 September 2020

Local authorities and Cumbria Police are reminding licensed premises to follow new Coronavirus rules or face getting a fine.

The government announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England last week. Further action is needed by hospitality businesses to ensure that they comply with the rules.

This includes ensuring that staff wear face coverings, businesses selling food or drink - including takeaways - close at 10pm, in licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table and businesses now need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.

Most of the new measures came into force last Wednesday (23 September). Where the rules are broken, Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued to those businesses that are proven to have not complied.

Local authorities in Cumbria have previously taken action against businesses that have not controlled the risk associated with Coronavirus. Operators of licensed premises are reminded that where music is played in a venue, it must be of such a nature and volume so as not to encourage dancing and avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music that may encourage shouting or played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult.

Local District Councils and Police are closely working together to monitor the situation across the county and those found to be breaching the guidelines will be investigated.

A council spokesperson said:

“Our priority is the safety of the pubs and rules are in place to protect everyone. We urge local businesses to follow government guidelines and comply with the new legal requirements or they could face getting a fixed penalty notice or prosecution. All employers have a legal responsibility under Health and Safety Law to assess and manage the risk of COVID-19 and protect workers and customers. This means businesses need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them.”  

Cumbria Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable, and Chair of Cumbria’s Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Andrew Slattery, said: 

“I am very grateful that the overwhelming majority of licensees have reacted positively to the new regulations and have ensured they are in compliance with them.

“The number of infections across the country is increasing rapidly and compliance with these new Government measure will help to slow this locally.

“Cumbria Police officers will be working closely with District Council colleagues to ensure compliance with the regulations. Where businesses or individuals are not taking steps to comply, or are wilfully ignoring the rules, then enforcement action will be taken.”

Guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic, including social distancing measures, can be found at