At around 5:45pm on Friday 27 November, a licensing officer observed the door ajar at Ceno on Highfield Lane. Inside approximately 15 people were drinking at the bar. During the recent national restrictions to address Covid-19, licensed premises were unable to open to the public. The officer dispersed the group and engaged with the owner before ultimately issuing the fixed penalty notice for a blatant breach of the regulations as a last resort.
Police will now carry out work with Southampton City Council to review the license for the premises.
PC Lee Scott from the force’s licensing team said:
“We are working hard to ensure that everyone is observing the restrictions in place and is safe during the pandemic. We are working with partners, including the city council, to ensure where businesses or individuals breach the regulations, that this is addressed quickly to provide reassurance to the community about concerns that are raised to us.
“The guidelines in place around hospitality are clear and during the recent period of national lockdown, restrictions licensed premises were unable to open to restricting the spread of the virus. It is very disappointing therefore that this restaurant felt that it was appropriate to allow a group of approximately 15 people to drink at the bar, which clearly breached the regulations.
“We hope this sends a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to ensure everyone’s safety.”