Covid: Bar that opened in lockdown refusing to shut despite fine

Kash Pungi opened a beach bar in Cleethorpes Quay in Lincolnshire on Monday (Photo: MEN Media)

The bar, which drew huge queues after opening this week, is refusing to close despite a £1,000 fine.

A beach bar in Cleethorpes reopened on Wednesday after the cornavirus was reported and it ordered the closure of the bar.

Under the current closing rules, pints can only be taken from the 12th. In April the gardens of the pubs were reopened.

But owner Kash Pungi says he is exempt because he works outside as a click and collect service and not in a bar or cafe.

We’ll see them in court. I am doing everything right and I have the best advice and they say I am right, so we will see the advice in court and I will be open tomorrow as scheduled, he said.

Pungi says all customers waiting for a drink follow the two-meter rule.

His mother, 74, worked with a mask to serve pints.

Mr Pungi says sea bass is safe for cattle (Photo: MEN Media)

The bar owner was criticised for not wearing a mask and admitted that perhaps he should review the rules on wearing faces.

He said he would put them up if necessary and plans to continue pouring pints over the Easter weekend.

He said: We always stand two feet away from the customers because the bar is between us. It unlocks all the time and all payments are contactless.

As a family, we all live together, so this is our bubble. All health and safety regulations are observed.

Everyone behaves well. I’ve never seen such relaxed people in the Clitorps, all happy.

Everyone calms down and walks slowly, keeping their distance from each other. There is no emergency. Everyone respects the rules.

Mr Pungi opened his bar on the Cleethorpes coast on Monday when some cordon sanitaire measures were lifted.

Mr Pungi says he will continue to work despite £1,000 fine (Photo: MEN Medi)

After trading through the click-and-collect system via SMS all day on Tuesday, he received a prohibition order from licensing authorities, ordering him to close.

The notification was made in accordance with the Coronavirus Health Protection Regulations.

But Michael Heng, a licensing consultant, believes Mr Punghee is acting within the law.

He told Grimsby Live: A beach bar is not a pub or cafe. It is similar to Tesco in some ways, but much smaller.

With the pre-order, it meets the legal requirements.

The new rules went into effect earlier this week. They can open for pre-ordered drinks, and the rules are explicit in the text.

Plus: Coronavirus

People don’t come for the alcohol, so it’s allowed. The difference with the beach bar is that it is not a pub.

Up to 12 years old. In April, you’re not allowed to sit in the beer garden, which is unique as you can’t do that in normal pubs.

A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Council said: Following reports of health and safety breaches at Cleethorpes Beach Bar in recent days, we can confirm that Council officers have now fined the bar owner £1,000.

The announcement follows a prohibition notice issued yesterday (Tuesday) for numerous breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI. 2021 No. 364) in the pub.

Contact our team of journalists by sending an email to [email protected].

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