‘A pub that was holding a “lock-in” for regular drinkers has been shut down under new coronavirus legislation.
The licensee was serving drinks at The Blue Bell, in Nottinghamshire, unbeknownst to its owners, police said.
Nottinghamshire Police officers were called to weekend reports that drinks were being served and, along with Ashfield District Council, shut it.
All stock and alcohol has also now been removed from the premises, in Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Following the government’s social distancing measure announcement on 20 March, all pubs were told to close.
Ch Supt Rob Griffin said this “sends a very clear message” that “police and our partners will not tolerate those people who deliberately break the rules and put other people’s lives in danger”.
Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, from Ashfield District Council, said the bar manager was “irresponsible” and “drinking with even one friend goes against the government’s guidelines”.
“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,” she said.
Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, reported the lock-in to the police after it was brought to his attention.
He said: “At a time when the vast majority of residents are obeying government advice we have a small majority who think the rules do not apply to them.”