Liverpool pub ordered to close after defying coronavirus lockdown

Liverpool City Council licensing officers received a tip-off that the pub was still open over the weekend after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all bars to shut. Tony McDonough reports

The Orient in Speke was serving customers in defiance of the lockdown

 

A pub in south Liverpool has been given an official warning after it remained open after the Government order for all bars and restaurants to close to combat the coronavirus spread.

The closure order was issued by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday but Liverpool City Council licensing officers received a tip-off that The Orient in Eastern Avenue in Speke was still open over the weekend.

On Wednesday it was served with a prohibition order and ordered to cease trading. If it fails to comply it will face an unlimited fine. It is the first pub to be served with an order since the lockdown began.

City manager Kevin Johnson said: “The Government have 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 are there for good reason: to limit as far as possible the number of people getting the virus. They face the potential of an unlimited fine if we prosecute, as well as the possibility that we will review their licence.

Liverpool community policing Superintendent Diane Pownall added: “We would strongly support the local authority in taking action against any licensed, or other, premises which are found to be in breach of government instruction on isolation and social distancing.

“Some people may think they are doing no harm behind closed doors but in reality they are selfishly putting themselves, their families and their wider community at risk.”

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