Third bar closes in town following police crackdown on coronavirus rules



A third bar has closed its doors in a Cheshire town after it was told it would have to prove customers from different households were not mixing indoors.

Crazy Moose Ski Shack, in Congleton, took to social media after officers visited the Lawton Street bar on Friday night.

Under Tier 2 restrictions in Cheshire East, bars are allowed to open providing they only serve single households and bubbles inside along with a substantial meal.

But the bar says Cheshire Police told management staff they would have to prove customers were part of the same household or bubble – or risk being fined.

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

Rumba Congleton and Arriba Congleton have also temporarily closed after they were visited by police on Friday night.

In a social media post, Crazy Moose Ski Shack said: “Officers from Cheshire Police and Cheshire East council visited The Crazy Moose in Congleton to carry out compliance checks.

“Under Tier 2 restrictions, households must not mix indoors. Government guidance so far has been that we must 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 permitted, and our staff ask every party on arrival to confirm understanding and compliance.

“It was made clear to us last night that this is no longer acceptable. It is now the responsibility of the venue to “prove beyond reasonable doubt” that customers sharing a table are not from mixed households. This includes checking driving licenses, passports etc. It was not made clear to us how we could validate a support bubble.

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“We were left in no doubt that any infringement of these restrictions would result in fines, prosecution and possible loss of licences, and that the authorities will be actively checking over the coming weeks/months.

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

The bar apologised to its customers for the closure.

It added: “We apologise to our customers, our local suppliers and all of our teams who have worked tirelessly to adapt to an ever changing situation, however we have now been put 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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