Third bar closes in town after police crackdown on coronavirus rules

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A third bar has closed in a Cheshire town after learning it would have to prove that customers from different households don’t mix inside.
The Crazy Moose Ski Shack, in Congleton, took to social media after officers visited the Lawton Street bar on Friday night.

Under Level 2 restrictions in Cheshire East, bars are allowed to open provided they only serve isolated households and bubbles inside with a hearty meal.

But the bar said Cheshire Police told management staff they would have to prove customers were in the same household or bubble – or risk a fine.

The bar has now made the decision to close its doors “until the restrictions are relaxed”.

Rumba Congleton and Arriba Congleton also temporarily closed their doors after being visited by police on Friday evening.

In a social media post, Crazy Moose Ski Shack said: “Cheshire Police and Cheshire East Council officers visited the Crazy Moose in Congleton to conduct compliance checks.

“Under the level 2 restrictions, households must not mix inside. So far, the government has indicated that we need to take reasonable steps to comply with this requirement. As such, our social media pages, booking confirmations, posters and house rules all state that mixing between bubbles is not allowed and our staff ask each party upon arrival to confirm their understanding and its compliance.

“It was made clear to us last night that this was no longer acceptable. It is now the site’s responsibility to “prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the customers sharing a table are not from mixed households. This includes checking driver’s licenses, passports, etc. We were not told how to validate a support bubble.

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“We had no doubts that any breach of these restrictions would result in fines, prosecution and possible loss of licenses, and that authorities will actively check over the coming weeks / months.

“We cannot risk this and have made the difficult decision to remain closed until these restrictions are relaxed. ”

The bar has apologized to its customers for the closure.

He added: “We apologize to our customers, local suppliers and all of our teams who have worked tirelessly to adapt to an ever-changing situation, but now we find ourselves in an impossible position.

“At this time of year, hospitality businesses should be alive and vibrant. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. ”

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