A SOUTHAMPTON restaurant has been forced to close after breaching Covid-19 rules.
Iroko Lounge, on Onslow Road has had its licence temporarily suspended after Hampshire Constabulary were concerned the venue was operating against government regulations and contrary to licensing and planning conditions.
The venue was full, and beyond capacity, which also breached coronavirus regulations set by Government.
The city council has now agreed to suspend the licence of the eatery pending the outcome of a full summary review which is due to be held on September 23.
Councillor David Shields, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities said: “This was an irresponsible breach of licensing conditions and government guidelines on social distancing. Along with our partners at Hampshire Constabulary we have taken swift and decisive action to protect the health of our communities in Southampton.
“We must not be complacent in our actions to keep Covid-19 infections in the city low. I urge all premises to adhere to government guidelines; for everyone to continue to follow social distancing and face covering guidance, as well as practice good hand hygiene and if we do have symptoms, to isolate immediately along with members of our household and book a test via the NHS Test and Trace programme.”
Police constable Brian Swallow from the Licensing and Alcohol Harm Reduction Team said: “This was a serious breach of licensing regulations and as such we recommended that the premises licence be suspended with immediate effect, to ensure public safety.
“It is vitally important that licenced premises abide by the regulations that are in place to protect people from crime and disorder, public nuisance and the potential public health implications of such gatherings during the current pandemic.
“Hampshire Constabulary will continue to work closely with our partners to encourage compliance and where necessary; we will take enforcement action.”