A COUNTY Durham club has been ordered to close immediately for failing to abide by the latest coronavirus restrictions.
Durham County Council’s community protection team has served a direction notice on Shotton Comrades Club, in Shotton Colliery, which must close from 6pm this evening (Friday, October 2), following a lack of social distancing at the club, no table service and customers standing at the bar.
As part of tougher new restrictions introduced two weeks ago to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, premises must provide table service only, close at 10pm, have the necessary track and trace requirements as well as ensuring social distancing rules are adhered to and ask staff and customers to wear face coverings.
The council said that because of so serious a breach, the venue will now have to remain closed until it can prove that it can operate in a coronavirus secure way.
In order to reassure members of the public that the new restrictions are being taken seriously, compliance officers have been out across the county on evenings and weekends and will continue to take a firm approach to those who show a disregard to the rules.
Any premises or person not complying with those measures could face a fine of £1,000 or closure if the regulations are ignored or the premises remain open beyond 10pm.
However, the team is keen to support the majority of businesses who are abiding by the rules, offering help and advice to ensure they are able to stay open during these challenging times.
Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s public protection manager, said: “We have been visiting premises across the county since the new restrictions were put in place and we are pleased to see that the vast majority are supportive of the measures and doing all they can to protect their staff and customers. We will continue to support these venues in staying open and are happy to offer help and advice where needed to make sure this possible.
“Unfortunately, there are a small number of premises failing to comply and I hope that instructing this business to close sends a clear message that we will take action against any premises which continues to flout the legislation. These measures have been put in place to address a significant rise in coronavirus cases in the region, and we must do what we can to protect public safety.”
Members of the public with any coronavirus concerns can submit a form on the council’s website doitonline.durham.gov.uk/service/Covid_19