The licensee of the Britannia Arms has been fined £6,000 after he defied restrictions ordering bars to close at 18:30 on the Friday before the full corona virus lockdown started.
New restrictions were imposed on Friday 20 March, the weekend before lockdown, saying that pubs and clubs must close for business at 18:30 unless they only served drinks with plated food.
Pictured: The restrictions were imposed on Friday 20 March.
The measure was introduced as part of the first wave of efforts to limit the spread of covid-19 locally, with two confirmed cases of the virus at the time.
However Guernsey Police were called that evening to the Britannia Arms after Philip James Martel kept his bar open beyond the prescribed time.
He has been found guilty and fined £6,000, as an alternative to 300 days imprisonment, under regulation 1 of The Emergency Powers (Coronavirus) (Control of Premises) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations, 2020.
It is the first prosecution to take place against someone flouting emergency regulations designed to safeguard the community against the transmission of covid-19.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said at the time: We will not take any chances. Bars and clubs present a very real risk.”
Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier warned against people flouting the regulations.
"This will come at very short notice to licensees but we will not make apologies for taking swift action to protect our community. This is a fast-developing situation and we are having to react in real-time. We have worked to come up with a proportionate solution, given the circumstances. Licensees must not only respect the new legal restrictions, but also the reasons we are introducing them. In other words, we expect both customers and licensees to follow the spirit not the letter of the law.
"If anyone is trying to think about how they can ‘get around’ these rules, they have failed to grasp the severity of the emergency we face and our determination to act in the wider interests of the community. Today’s measures are to reduce contact between individuals and support social distancing recommendations."
Pictured top: Guernsey's court.
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