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Second county pub closed for Covid breaches

A second Northumberland pub has been closed down for breaching Covid regulations. 
The Castle, in Woodhorn Road, Ashington, was served with a direction notice on Tuesday, October 13. The venue has been directed to close for 14 days (to be reviewed in seven days) and the licensee has the opportunity to appeal. 
The pub was one of a number visited by Northumbria Police on Saturday night and officers raised concerns with the council around: 
  • groups of multiple households sitting together 
  • no social distancing between individuals or groups 
  • inadequate track and trace details being collected 
  • Failure to ensure all customers had “checked in” 
  • people without face coverings around the venue, or not wearing face covering correctly 
Officers are routinely visiting businesses to ensure compliance with legal responsibilities, implementation of appropriate safety measures and businesses are playing their part in protecting residents across Northumberland. 
While the majority are found to be operating with good management processes in place, a small number of businesses are found not to be meeting the required standards and increasing the risk of the spread of the infection within local communities. 
Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Protection said: “It is disappointing another venue has fallen well below standard. 
“It’s vital we all work together at this time and stick by the rules to avoid us facing even tougher restrictions which none of us wants. 
“The safety of the county and all of its residents remains our highest priority, and we want to work with all businesses to help them through this difficult time.  
“However, as we showed last week and again now we won’t hesitate to take strong enforcement action where we find traders clearly breaching the regulations and putting lives at risk.” 
Superintendent Craig Metcalfe, of Northumbria Police, added: “We will continue to support our local authority partners around their engagement and enforcement activity with businesses. 
 “We all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of Coronavirus in our region and we will continue to engage with the public about the restrictions. However, along with our partners, we are committed to taking appropriate action where necessary to protect our communities.” 
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