Baltic Triangle venue fined for breach of Covid restrictions
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A licensed venue in Liverpool city centre was fined last night (Friday 2 October) for a breach of coronavirus regulations.
Action was taken at 24 Kitchen Street, in the Baltic Triangle, after officers noted social distancing was not being observed at the venue at about 8.25pm, and the licensee was issued with a fixed penalty notice requiring them to pay a fine of £1,000.
Officers saw tables with more than six people gathered around them, customers walking around the bar area without face coverings, people drinking and gathered where there was no table, meaning table service rules could not be adhered to, and a lack of social distancing in the smoking area.
Officers will continue to patrol licensed premises in the city centre and across Merseyside to ensure coronavirus regulations are being adhered to all this weekend and beyond. Where officers find clear breaches of legislation, they will take firm action.
Chief Inspector Karl Baldwin said: "It is extremely disappointing that for the second weekend in a row we have been forced to issue a fine because a premises has failed in its obligations to act responsibly at a critical time for this city.
“We have seen cases of coronavirus rise rapidly in Merseyside in recent weeks, and restrictions have increased as a result in an effort to curb the rise.
“It is therefore totally unacceptable that anyone should disregard the very real threat posed by coronavirus in this way, and allow large groups to gather in such close proximity.
“Our officers have visited many other premises and I am pleased to say the vast majority have put extensive measures in place to protect people inside. We are all in this together and the overwhelming majority of businesses are doing their bit, abiding by new rules with table service only and equipping staff with face coverings and visors, as well as carefully monitoring visitor numbers and encouraging social distancing.
“But this premises had allowed so many people inside that it made social distancing virtually impossible.
“We will not hesitate to take action when the safety of the people of Merseyside is jeopardised in this way, and I hope this fine sends a very clear message to anyone who is not prepared to operate their business in a Covid-secure way - you not only risk the health of the people of Merseyside, you risk being penalised financially.
“We continue to work closely with Liverpool City Council and other local authorities across Merseyside, to support the vast majority of licensee’s who are doing all they can to operate their business in a safe way and so it is only right that we challenge the small minority who are letting their trade down."
Chief Insp Baldwin added: “We have additional policing resources across Merseyside and - as they have been since March - our officers are engaging with the public, encouraging people to adhere to the new restrictions, explaining why it is so important and where necessary taking enforcement action such as this.
"If you do not follow the instructions of officers, individuals risk being given a £200 fine, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200 if it is not paid.
"So many people in our communities have shown tremendous patience and resilience to follow guidelines during this pandemic, making huge sacrifices along the way to protect people around them. I want to thank each and every one of those people for their community spirit and selflessness. I am proud of their efforts, and they should be too.
“We know it hasn’t been easy, but the alternative is so much worse and we face a critical period in our fight to stop the spread and get back to some sort of normality.
“We will not allow a minority to undermine those efforts, and I want to take this opportunity to call upon everyone to act responsibly to protect our loved ones and ourselves.
“If we don’t, the sad reality is that more people in Merseyside will catch this virus. And as we know all too well, the consequences of that for many people in our communities can be fatal.
“By following the rules, you are doing your bit to reduce the strain on the NHS and other emergency services, keeping yourself and others safe and healthy and protecting the ones you love.”
If you have information on criminality, anti-social behaviour or events and gatherings planned illegally, you can contact @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.