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Council closes five businesses due to Covid-19 breaches

Town Hall building light up at night

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Council has issued prohibition notices to four pubs and a takeaway in the city following breaches of COVID-19 rules over the weekend of 19th and 20th September.

As the city continues to see cases rise, it is vital that the public, businesses and hospitality venues follow the guidelines in order to prevent further spread of the virus. In the case of these five venues, officers from the council found clear breaches and have issued the prohibition notices, effectively ordering the venues to close.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield City Council, said: “We don’t want to do this: this is a last resort but some places are just not getting the message to act safely and prevent further spread of the virus. If we do not take measures such as these then we could end up in an even worse position.

“Rates have been steadily increasing in Sheffield over recent weeks, we have university students coming into the city this week, and we must do all we can to ensure people follow the guidance and safety advice from ourselves and our partners in the NHS and Government. We want residents and visitors to be able to enjoy the city, but in a safe and responsible way.  I understand people’s frustrations about how long this has gone on for and that people want to see the end of it, but that will not happen unless we all adhere to the guidance, including the new rule of six.

The closures follow enforcement exercises by council officers at the weekend. The four pubs were given prohibition notices for not complying with the regulations and guidance, creating a serious health and safety risk. 

These premises were Pen Nook at Deepcar, Pack Horse Inn at Chapeltown, Malin Bridge Inn at Hillsborough, Sports Shack at Hillsborough and Chicken Stop in the City Centre.

The issues witnessed during the evening included a lack of control of customers, not enough staff, lack of door supervision, loud music, singing, dancing, groups of more than 6, lack of social distancing, people mingling between groups hugging and kissing as well as people standing at the bar, an  apparent lack of table service, and no mechanism for gathering track and trace information.

Greg added: “Intelligence tells us that the vast majority of premises are working with us and working really hard to create safe environments for their customers, and we are grateful for their efforts but I cannot stress the seriousness of the situation we are in. The purpose of the rules is to protect us all; Covid-19 is a dangerous respiratory disease which can spread quickly. We all need to do our bit to stop the spread.”

The Council continues to work with premises, supporting them with how to operate safely during the pandemic. This includes sending information packs out, visiting premises to advise them on how to operate safely and providing a wealth of advice and support. Most businesses have responded favourably and have done their bit for the city to keep people safe well.

The Council will continue to support premises and businesses during this crisis and will provide support and advice. We will continue to work with partners to make people alert to the fact that the virus is still out there and we all need to do our bit to prevent further lockdown measures. The Council will take action where necessary and have undertaken over 2000 visits to venues since lockdown was eased.

Information for businesses and venues is available here.