29 September 2020 12:42
OFFICERS were out in force visiting licensed premises in Prescot over the weekend to ensure they were complying with coronavirus legislation. Hospitality for food and drink is currently restricted to table service only and restaurants, pubs, and cinemas required to close between 10pm and 5am due to the coronavirus pandemic. Merseyside Police, Knowsley Council and partners are ensuring those restrictions and existing guidance is being adhered to across the borough. Officers witnessed staff and owners wearing face coverings and visors, enforcing social distancing and providing table service only. One of the venues praised for their compliance with rules in place is The Lord Strange pub in Prescot.
Chief Inspector Phil Mullally said: "We were very pleased to see that the overwhelming majority of establishments we visited have recognised the importance of adhering to legislation, and have put in measures to keep their patrons safe. "They know that it is not only in the best interests of their business, but in the best interests of the health of all their customers to comply with coronavirus legislation and guidance. "Among others, the Lord Strange pub in Prescot was seen to have excellent compliance with the guidance and legislation and we'd like to thank them – and many others - for their efforts in keeping people safe. "Businesses, residents, police and partner agencies across Knowsley are all doing their bit to ensure we continue to protect our loved ones and ourselves from this virus. "If we don't, we risk more people in Knowsley becoming ill and the stark reality is we will see more deaths if people do not act responsibly." Chief Insp Mullally added: "Unfortunately, not everyone has been as responsible. Where businesses and the public want to do the right thing, we have engaged with them, discussed COVID-19 legislation and offered advice and guidance on how they can do their bit. "But when clear breaches are identified, or people refuse to what our officers tell them, we will take firm enforcement action. "Those you do not follow the instructions of officer risk being given a £100 fine, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200 if it is not paid. And organisers of gatherings can be fined as much as £10,000. "A number of coronavirus related issues were identified at some of the premises visited and reports have been made to both police licensing teams and Knowsley Council licensing for additional action. "At one location in Huyton, The Common, the licensee was reported for breach of coronavirus legislation and will be subject of a fine for failing to comply with legislation, after it was found to be open after 10pm. "We will continue to proactively go out into the community to speak to the public and business owners to encourage good practice, and together we can beat this virus and return to normality as soon as possible." Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, added "Our Licensing Team will continue to ensure the COVID-19 rules are adhered to - for the safety of residents, visitors and staff within the premises. "Everyone has a part to play in stopping the spread of the virus and we have been supporting businesses to ensure they are COVID-Secure and ensure they understand the new rules around their responsibilities. "We will take robust action against anyone who isn't taking their responsibilities seriously."