Published: 15:42, 09 June 2021
| Updated: 19:38, 09 June 2021
A cocktail bar has been fined for not having a Covid-safe garden.
Lang’s of Sittingbourne was visited by inspectors from Swale council last month after complaints that its outside drinking area was too enclosed and was fined £1,000.
Cllr Angela Harrison, the council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Our Covid compliance officer visited Lang’s in St Michael's Road last month following a complaint about its outside area. We discussed possible options with the business owners which could make their outside area Covid compliant. However, these changes were not made and the business continued to operate illegally.
“As a result, they were fined £1,000 for non-compliance with Covid regulations."
But the bar's owner Leon Dawson said: "We did all we could to make it safe. We removed side panels around the bottom of the garden but to get to it customers had to walk through the top part which has three walls. Under the Covid regulations at the time there could only be two walls. As we couldn't knock a wall down we agreed to pay the fine."
He added: "Apart from that, we have ensured we are Covid-safe with hand-sanitisers, social distancing and track and trace."
Since the introduction of the Government's "roadmap" on March 29 Swale council has followed up 23 complaints and spoken to 58 businesses including those who have asked for advice. Covid marshals carried out more than 50 business checks every week during May.
Cllr Harrison added: “The majority of businesses are following government guidelines and are Covid compliant. However, we will fine those who deliberately ignore the need to operate a safe environment for customers and staff.”
Saddlebrook holiday park on Sheppey had its clubhouse closed by the council earlier this year after police officers found customers buying and drinking alcohol on the site despite it being during a coronavirus lockdown.
For Covid advice click here.