Prohibition orders have been issued to bars all over Northern Ireland in recent days as landlords continue to fall foul of Covid-19 restrictions.
Thirty-five of the orders have now been issued by police, targeting venues in towns such as Belfast, Banbridge, Tempo, Coleraine and Bangor. The notices require premises to limit the spread of Covid-19 by discontinuing activity which authorities believe to be unsafe.
The most recent high profile case in which an order was issued occurred at the weekend when a police patrol in Belfast city centre decided that the Dublin Road venue, Filthy McNasty’s, wasn’t serving enough food to comply with the guidelines. A small part of the popular venue was closed as a result.
In a statement, the Bachus Group operations director, Michael Moreland, said that he was disappointed by what had happened and contended that the current guidelines around the required food offering were ‘ambiguous’.
“Whilst we believe that the food offering did meet the requirements in the guidelines the provisions are ambiguous both as to quantum and as to how long alcohol can continue to be consumed after the meal is finished,’ he added.
The group has now asked for a consultation with the PSNI in order to clarify the situation around the guidelines.
PSNI Chief Constable, Simon Byrne and NI’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride were both part of the police patrol which issued the prohibition notice to Filthy McNasty’s. Police have since said that they will continue to work with licensees across Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone is able to socialise in a safe environment.