Blyth pub manager fined for failing to pay fixed penalty notice for Covid breach

A pub manager has been fined after failing to pay a fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid rules.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:30 am

The Masons Arms, on Plessey Road in Blyth was one of a number of venues visited by Northumbria Police officers who were carrying out routine visits last October to businesses to ensure they were following the coronavirus regulations.

Government health protection regulations at the time required pub customers to finish their drinks and leave by 10pm. However, during their visit to The Masons Arms Police officers witnessed customers still drinking close to 11pm.

Police body worn video footage of their visit was shared with Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection team who served a fixed penalty notice on Mr Dang Vuong, the manager of the premises who was working that night.

After he failed to pay the fine, the case was listed for Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates Court but Mr Vuong failed to attend court and was prosecuted for the original offence of serving alcohol after 10pm and issued with a financial penalty of £2,290 in his absence.

Northumberland County Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for community services, said: “All hospitality venues are required to have appropriate public health measures in place to help halt the spread of this disease, and most businesses are doing all they can to keep their staff and customers safe.

"Unfortunately, a small minority, including The Masons Arms breached the regulations which were very clearly laid down, increasing the risk of the spread of the infection.

“We don’t take any pleasure in issuing fines to businesses, especially when so many are struggling as it is, however, we are in the middle of a serious pandemic and a great many lives have been lost because of it.

"The regulations are in place for good reason, and we owe it to our residents and the many other businesses who are acting responsibly, despite their own financial hardships, to take strong enforcement action against those who are clearly breaching them.

“The safety of the county and all of its residents will always be our highest priority.”

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