Pubs have been hit by closures and disruption within days of serving their first pints following the shutdown triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
In Warwickshire, managers of a JD Wetherspoon closed the venue when a group customers ignored social distancing rules forcing staff to call the police.
The Golden Bee, in Stratford-upon-Avon, was shut after officers were called to the pub on so-called ‘Super Saturday’ (July 4).
The group of customers was said to be ignoring social distancing advice and directions from staff.
The manager decided to close the pub, in Sheep Street, when the visitors refused to leave the venue.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “A large group of people gathered in the pub.
“We were unaware that they were part of the large group at the time, as they came into the pub a couple of people at a time. They were refusing to adhere to social distancing and threatening the management and staff on duty so the managers refused them service. However they still refused to disperse.
“As a result the managers closed the pub and asked everyone to leave.
“This was unfortunate for all of our other customers who were well behaved, but it was the right decision.
“We remained closed until 8am on Sunday when the pub reopened. It is important to stress that the police did not close the pub, and it was closed by our managers.”
Other pubs have been forced to close following suspected cases of coronavirus among customers or people staff had been in contact with.
They include the Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, the Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, and the Village Home, in Alverstoke, Hampshire.
The Lighthouse Kitchen was today (July 7) working through contact details left by visitors over the weekend after a report that a customer had tested positive for coronavirus.
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Staff have tested negative and the premises is being thoroughly cleaned.
Manager Jessica Green told the BBC she had decided to “put everyone’s health and safety first”.
The Fox and Hounds also closed temporarily as a precaution and is undergoing a deep clean after a customer phoned to say they had tested positive for Covid-19.
The Village Home is also being thoroughly cleansed after someone in an employee’s ‘family bubble’ tested positive for Covid-19, with staff awaiting test results.
The disruption follows the easing of lockdown and social distancing restrictions on Saturday, allowing pubs to reopen after the three-month shutdown.
Establishments including those in the Wetherspoon chain, which runs the Flying Standard and The Earl of Mercia in Coventry city centre, have reopened with a range of measures in place to guard against coronavirus. They include hand sanitisers, Perspex screens, personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks for staff, table service and measures to ensure people can stand at least a metre apart from each other. Pubs are also being asked by the Government to keep a temporary record of customers in order to help contain any outbreak of coronavirus.
Despite concerns over social distancing and the temporary closures the reopening weekend was widely viewed as having passed largely without trouble.