Hampshire Constabulary’s Licensing Team, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, have been working closely with local businesses to ensure compliance with the latest Covid regulations.
Under the new rules, people may not participate in social gatherings, in any place, in groups of more than six.
Licensed premises have also been ordered to close no later than 10pm every night.
Preventing the spread of this deadly virus is a shared effort, and we all have a personal responsibility to follow the rules in order to achieve this.
Police and council officers have been contacting business premises across the city to discuss the new regulations and what this means for them.
Many businesses have been compliant to ensure the safety of others, and we are incredibly grateful for this.
Unfortunately there have been some occasions, in the minority, where we have had to take enforcement action.
Last weekend, police took the following action:
• A £1000 fine was issued to The Ship & Castle public house on Rudmore Road, after a gathering of more than 15 people was permitted at the premises for a wake on 22 October. • Two £1000 fines issued to Ali Baba’s and Perfect Pizza, both on London Road, after the premises were found to be open beyond 10pm on 23 October. • A £1000 fine was issued to Golden Chopsticks on London Road after the premises was found to be open beyond 10pm on 24 October.
In addition, a 20-year-old man from Portsmouth was handed a fine after he was observed walking through and leaving the Astoria nightclub in Guildhall Walk on Saturday night (24 October) without his facemask, having been reminded previously by door staff to put it on.
PC Pete Rackham, from the Force Licensing and Alcohol Harm Reduction Team, said: “Our work to tackle the spread of this virus is a joint effort, and we will continue to work closely with the city council and local businesses to ensure the safety of the public.
“I am pleased to see that the vast majority of businesses are doing everything they can to comply with the regulations and keep people safe.
“There are unfortunately the minority that have not complied, and it is important for all businesses to realise that enforcement action will be taken against those that do not co-operate with the restrictions.
“We are sympathetic to everyone struggling during the pandemic, but it is essential that we prevent the spread of this virus and keep each other safe.
“Officers will patrol areas where concerns have been raised and, alongside our partners, we will continue to minimise the risk of spread of infection through our ongoing engagement with local businesses.”
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, comments: “It is absolutely vital that we respond quickly and firmly to breaches of coronavirus safety regulations within businesses so we limit the threat to public health and deter repeat offences. Our approach to enforcement will be pragmatic and proportionate but businesses that do not act responsibly and fail to comply with their obligations will face tough consequences.
“The vast majority of businesses in the city are taking coronavirus safety measures extremely seriously to protect their staff and customers, but I would urge people to let us know if they do see a business operating in a way that causes concern or might risk public safety. We will investigate and take appropriate action if we find the business to be breaking the rules.”