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Prohibition order for pub breaching coronavirus restrictions

The Bonnie Blue Oak, Tiptree, was open in contravention of government orders

Date issued: 31 March 2020

A pub in Tiptree has been issued with a Prohibition Order after it was found open, in breach of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The authorities were tipped off that The Bonnie Blue Oak was open, in contravention of government orders for entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure premises to close. The front of the pub had the windows covered but access was being used at the rear of the property.

The pub was served with a notice by Colchester Borough Council yesterday (30 March) to cease trading of food or drink sold for consumption on the premises or face the possibility of an unlimited fine. The pub can continue to run a takeaway food service only.

It is the first pub in Colchester to be issued with a Prohibition Order since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The action by Colchester Borough Council’s Licensing team has been supported by Essex Police.

Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “The government has been really clear that many places, including pubs and bars, should close as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

“It is really important that landlords understand we will take action against them if we find they are opening in breach of the rules.

“They face the potential of an unlimited fine if they fail to comply with the notice, as well as the possibility that we will review their licence.

“Where we receive evidence of premises opening illegally, we will investigate and take action, because they are acting irresponsibly and putting lives at risk.”

The notice came into effect immediately and there is no appeal. The notice will stay in effect until the end of the emergency period.

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