Enforcement officers have been working closely with South Wales Police to ensure licensed premises in Bridgend County Borough are compliant with the latest regulations around coronavirus.
Over the weekend more than 20 pubs and bars in Porthcawl, Bridgend, Maesteg and Aberkenfig were visited with three pubs being served with Improvement Notices.
The Royal Oak in South Road, Porthcawl was served with a notice around concerns to do with social distancing – it needs to now ensure it takes all reasonable measures to ensure customers are seated 2 metres away from each other if they are not in the same household.
At The Marine on the Esplanade in Porthcawl the notice was served over social distancing concerns and table service not always being carried out.
Meanwhile the Prince of Wales in Porthcawl was served a notice to ensure both staff and customers wear masks when entering the pub and walking around. Enforcement officers said the music volume also needed to be turned down.
On Saturday, September 26, a further 12 premises were visited in Bridgend, Maesteg and Aberkenfig with officers finding compliance was generally good and any issues identified were dealt with by way of advice.
Last week, Coity Castle in Morfa Street, Bridgend, was served with a notice after concerns over social distancing and a lack of information provided to customers or staff about how to minimise the risk of coronavirus.
Councillor Dhanisha Patel, the Bridgend County Borough Council cabinet member whose portfolio includes Shared Regulatory Services said: “Shared Regulatory Services have been proactively visiting premises across the county borough.
“We know the majority of businesses are complying with regulations and enforcement officers have no concerns at all about the measures in place at these premises. Where there were concerns over minor issues, advice and support was given.
“In total four improvement notices have been issued in the last few days and the enforcement team will be returning to ensure premises are complying with all necessary regulations. We will continue to monitor compliance and we encourage residents to contact us if they are concerned about any issues at licensed premises.”
Updated Welsh Government regulations now require people responsible for premises to take all reasonable measures to ensure that a two-metre distance can be maintained between people who are on the premises or are waiting to go in to the premises, and to provide information to anyone entering or working there on how to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.
They must also take other reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure, primarily by improving hygiene and minimising face-to-face interaction, especially in situations where two-metre distancing isn’t possible.
Premises Improvement Notices specify the measures that need to be taken in order to meet the regulations within a certain time limit, usually 48 hours.
If the premises fail to comply, enforcement officers can issue a Premises Closure Notice, requiring the premises, or part of it, to be closed for up to 14 days. In some circumstances, enforcement officers will also be able to close the premises immediately without having served an improvement notice, but this would only be where there has been a sufficiently serious breach of regulations.