Pub shut down under coronavirus laws for holding lock-in during lockdown

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Nottinghamshire Police shut down the Bluebell pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield over reports it was having a lock-in. (PA)

A pub in Nottinghamshire has been shut down and stripped of alcohol under the new COVID-19 lockdown rules after reports it was holding a lock-in.

Officers were called to The Bluebell pub in Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, over the weekend.

Nottinghamshire Police confirmed in a statement that the pub had been closed down: "Following new guidance around social distancing all bars and clubs have been asked to shut in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"However nationally there have been reports of some flouting these rules and hosting 'lock-ins' instead.

"This included at the bar in Ashfield, where the pub licence holder, unbeknownst to the bar owners, has appeared to deliberately hold a lock-in for regulars.”

The police statement added that Ashfield District Council's licensing department took swift action to have the pub closed after this was reported to them.

Chief superintendent Rob Griffin said: "This result sends a very clear message to everyone that the police and our partners will not tolerate those people who deliberately break the rules and put other people's lives in danger by their selfish actions.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

"The government has been very specific that rules need to be followed so that lives can be saved.

"Those who choose to ignore these rules run the risk of swift action like has been taken here.

"People have got to take this seriously. This is about saving lives.”

Thanking the pub's owner for their co-operation, which had avoided the need for a lengthy licensing review, chief superintendent Griffin said all stock and alcohol had now been removed from the premises.

"This will prevent the premises from being used again as they were on Saturday," he said.

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, the area's cabinet member for community safety, said: "The irresponsible actions of the bar manager were the root cause of this incident.

"The government has restrictions in place for a reason.

"It beggars belief why this group of people thought it was acceptable to have a private party when the majority of residents were staying home to help save lives.

"Drinking with even one friend goes against the government's guidelines, and unless people start adhering to these guidelines the number of coronavirus cases will continue to increase.

"Please stay home and save lives.

"The swift action between the council and police demonstrates that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

"It's selfish behaviour that is putting lives at risk."

The pub shutdown comes as police were told to be “consistent” over coronavirus lockdown rules.

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter