A cafe that has repeatedly flouted Covid-19 restrictions, putting people’s safety at risk, has been hit with more fines for its latest blatant breach.
The Mustard Seed in Gedling had previously been served with a three-month closure order in November, secured by Gedling Borough Council and served by Nottinghamshire Police, following a number of breaches related to Covid-19 regulations.
Despite being given several chances to do the right thing and follow the rules, on Saturday (8 May 2021) police were tipped off that it was open with staff and customers inside and no-one reportedly wearing masks.
Officers attended and issued a total of ten £200 fines in respect of the illegal gathering.
The current Covid-19 rules state that pubs, cafes and restaurants can’t serve customers indoors and any customers being served outdoors must be in a group of no more than six or in a group of any size from two households only.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference today confirming the next easing of the restrictions which are due to come into effect from next Monday (17 May 2021).
These breaches were also at The Mustard Seed
Ahead of Mr Johnson’s announcements, the force also issued 16 £200 fines to people who went to an illegal house party in Balfour Road, Lenton, on Saturday night, in breach of the current regulations.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Despite multiple visits, advice and warnings, previous fines and a closure order, the café owner still chose to ignore the rules by allowing people to come inside and be served.
“We have had numerous issues with this business not complying with the regulations which are in place to protect us all and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“By this time next week it may be that – if everything is still going as planned with the roadmap – that people will be able to meet indoors in groups of up to six.
“However, the roadmap relies on people sticking to the rules now and every time the small minority of people ignore the law it places that easing of restrictions at risk for everyone.
“Compliance is critical for us to reduce the transmission of infection and it is of vital importance that everyone respects the regulations in place to keep us all safe.
“Nottinghamshire Police officers continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules in the first instance but, as we have consistently shown, where necessary we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against businesses or individuals who continue to blatantly breach the regulations, despite our advice and guidance.”
Gedling Borough Council leader John Clarke said: “We’re very disappointed to hear that there’s been a breach of the covid rules, once again, at the Mustard Seed and we fully support the police’s decision to issue fines to the people involved.
“The actions of the owner to be serving people inside the café at this critical point, when we are trying to get our lives back, is irresponsible and reckless.
“They could have waited for a few more days until the rules change but they clearly want to make a point that goes against the guidance and the science that is trying to keep people safe.
“We are taking the appropriate legal action against them for the first breach and we will do the same for this one should we need to.”
Director for Public Health for Nottinghamshire, Jonathan Gribbin, added: “I wholly support any action by partner organisations that will protect the health and wellbeing of people in Nottinghamshire.
“The national restrictions in place are there to protect everyone. Countless businesses in Nottinghamshire have worked hard to keep their customers and communities safe.
“To those businesses who work hard to comply with the current restrictions, I want to offer my thanks.
“We owe them a debt of gratitude for the consideration they are giving to their local community, for setting aside their immediate interests and concerns in order to keep people safe and to protect our local NHS and care services. They provide a strong example to us all of what it means to serve your community.”