Premises License revoked following Coronavirus breach

Cenos Bar and Restaurant to lose Premises license

On Tuesday 26 January 2021, a decision was made at the Licensing (Licensing and Gambling) Sub-Committee to revoke the premises license for Cenos Bar and Restaurant on Highfield Lane following breaches of the Coronavirus regulations.

At around 5:45pm on Friday 27 November 2020 a Police Licensing Officer observed the door ajar at Ceno on Highfield Lane. Inside approximately 15 people were drinking at the bar. This was during the national restrictions to address COVID-19 between 5th November - 2nd December 2020, where licensed premises were unable to open to the public.

The Sub-Committee was concerned that this was a very serious incident, which breached the Coronavirus regulations, which in turn impinged on the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety.

The Sub-Committee was also concerned at an apparent lack of concern shown by the designated premises supervisor (DPS) and Premises License Holder in view of the current pandemic and the period of lockdown. Examples of this were his lack of cooperation with the police, unwillingness to share CCTV evidence, and the notices on the premises which were at best open to misinterpretation.

The Sub-Committee deliberated long and hard and concluded that revoking the licence was the only proportionate response.

The decision follows a Hampshire Constabulary issued £1000 fixed penalty notice in November for the breach of the health Protection Regulations during national restrictions.

Chairman of the Licensing Sub-Committee, Councillor Cathie McEwing, said:

“It is evident that the DPS and License holder failed to recognise the seriousness of the threat to public health that COVID-19 represents and the importance of behaving in accordance with both the legislative provisions and government guidance in order to control the spread of the virus. COVID-19 presents a very significant threat to the health and lives of many, and its control is something the world is striving for. Cases are still very high and pressure on University Hospital Southampton’s Intensive Care Unit and our social care system remains extremely high.”

“While regular engagement with business owners is the council’s preferred route, given the extended offending and the lack of co-operation by the License holder, revoking the license was both lawful and proportionate. With a national lockdown now in place, we ask the public to please follow and respect the restrictions. We hope this sends a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to ensure everyone’s safety.”

As part of the national lockdown, the regulations require some businesses to close. Detail on which businesses can remain open under the new lockdown are available on the GOV.UK website.

The Government has announced additional funding including new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. Southampton City Council are awaiting more details regarding these payments from central government. Once further information is available, it will be published on the council website or businesses can sign up to our business e-newsletter for the latest news.

To report a Covid Compliance Concern, please visit our Covid Marshals webpage.