Police Shut Down Shisha Lounge Filled With 150 People After Second Covid Breach
| Last updated
Police have forced a shisha lounge to close down after it broke the coronavirus restrictions with 150 people inside - just days after it was hit with a £10,000 fine for an earlier breach.
A closure order has been issued to Kasablanca in Birmingham, after police forced their way into the venue at 1am on 24 October to find more than 150 people still inside.
Video footage shows the moment West Midlands Police officers forced entry into the establishment before people poured out of the venue.
Earlier this month, police approached Kasablanca to find staff had pulled down the shutters, and discovered crowds gathered inside with no social distancing.
The closure order is reviewed every week by the local authority, and the venue will have to have prove it is complying with the law before it can open again.
Chief Superintendent Andy Beard said: "It's unacceptable that these businesses continue to flout the law, putting lives at risk and increasing the risk of infections as this deadly virus continues to spread.
"This is a difficult time for everyone, but we won't be able to control this pandemic and return to a sense of normality if this continues to happen.
"We all need to help stop the spread of coronavirus, and no one is above the law when it comes to that. The vast majority are following the guidelines and we want to say thank you to those people making those personal sacrifices.
"We're continuing to work with local authorities across the region to tackle this virus and help to protect those who live work and visit the West Midlands in the coming weeks and months."
Meanwhile, a venue in Sandwell has also been issued with a £10,000 super fine for flouting Covid-19 restrictions.
Viollet Salon in Smethwick was hit with the fine on 29 October after officers were called to the venue earlier in the month, following reports that a large wedding was taking place.
When cops arrived on 10 October, they found up to 70 people inside with no regard for the current legislation.
An investigation was launched and the owner was served the £10,000 fine for facilitating the event.
Earlier this week, David Jamieson, the West Midlands police and crime commissioner, warned people that rule-breaking reports will be investigated over Christmas.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Jamieson said: "If we think there's large groups of people gathering where they shouldn't be, then police will have to intervene.
"If, again, there's flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce. It's not the police's job to stop people enjoying their Christmas.
"However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules, then the Government has to explain that to the public."