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Pub fined for COVID-19 regulations breach

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A pub in Harpenden has been served with a £1,000 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for serving alcohol without a substantial meal.

The £1,000 fine was issued to the Skew Bridge, Southdown, for breaching COVID-19 regulations while the area was under Tier Two restrictions.

Two business compliance officers from St Albans City and District Council, which has responsibility for enforcing the rules, visited the pub.

This followed a complaint that alcohol had been served without a table meal in contravention of the Coronavirus Health Protection Regulations.

When questioned, the manager admitted the offence and was served with the £1,000 fine – the first of its kind to be issued in the District.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, said:

A breach of COIVD-19 regulations is, thankfully, a very rare event for the District.

Our pubs, restaurants, cafes and other businesses have generally behaved in an exemplary fashion, following all the COVID rules to keep their customers and the general public safe.

I understand the enormous pressure these businesses are under due to the impact of COVID, but the issuing of this FPN shows that we will take enforcement action where necessary.

Indeed, St Albans District hospitality representatives from Save St Albans Pubs and Pubwatch have urged us to enforce where we see any major issues to ensure that there is a level playing field for all.

Our business compliance officers have been working very effectively to ensure companies are aware of their responsibilities and live up to them, and I hope this incident will be a one off.

The regulations are intended to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal virus by encouraging responsible behaviour and restricting social interactions.

The FPN was issued on Monday 14 December. Failure to pay it within 28 days could lead to a prosecution in the courts.

Councillor contact:  
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture: 07584 198999,

Contact for the media: 
John McJannet,
Principal Communications Officer,
Tel: 01727 819533