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Coronavirus Kent: Canterbury City Council slams premises selling alcohol

A council has criticised businesses in Whitstable who are being blamed for large gatherings today.

Crowds of people were seen gathered on the seafront after purchasing takeaway drinks from Whitstable Oyster Company.

It is believed they were purchased at the Whitstable Oyster Company.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson said pubs, clubs and restaurants should shut as soon as possible to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Legislation was introduced today to stop people from consuming food and drink on the same premises it was bought.

Canterbury City Council has now issued a statement saying: "We're aware of scenes of large gatherings today at some licensed premises in Whitstable. We deplore this and are working with the police, and using government regulations, to determine the action we may be able to take as the licensing authority."

Tankerton councillor Neil Baker said: "Probably best I don't say what I'm thinking. But it's utterly appaling to see what's going on in Whitstable right now with regards to what can only be described as encouraging people to socialise in small spaces in order to make a few quid."

His thoughts were echoed by former leader of Canterbury City Council, Simon Cook, who said: "Really gobsmacked hearing about some of the businesses in Canterbury district who haven’t listened to the PM and closed. Simply irresponsible in current crisis."

Whitstable Oyster Company has been contacted for comment.

There were similar scenes in Ramsgate today with people spotted on pub benches enjoying a drink.

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

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