A PUB has blamed people ignoring social distancing guidelines for it calling the police and about 200 people being cleared from the premises in Five Lane Ends last night.
In a statement on the Lane Ends pub’s Facebook page today, it said some drinkers in its tap room had abused its offer of four bottles for £10 and they were passing them out to friends in the car park.
They refused to listen to staff and the police were called. They arrived at 7pm and told staff to close the pub for safety reasons.
The pub is open again today but with stricter conditions and its 100 seats will be allocated on a first-come first-seated basis.
The statement says: “As many people have seen on social media, yesterday was quite eventful. Firstly thank you to everyone that was sitting down in the lounge, you made our job much easier on that side of the pub.
“The problems started mid afternoon when too many people wanted to get in the tap room and those that were in tap room were not abiding by the social distancing rules and refusing to listen to us.
“People were then buying our four bottles for £10 and passing them to their mates in the car park. Luckily the police came at 7pm and told us to close for safety reasons.
“So today we will be working differently. The beer garden will be closed. We have 100 seats available in the pub which will be allocated on a first-come first-seated basis. Once all the seats are taken we are sorry but we will have to refuse entry until a table becomes available.
“A queueing system at the top entrance will be used and you will be escorted to an available table. Also we will be operating table service only.
“Again thank you to those that used common sense yesterday.”
Police earlier denied that they closed the pub because hundreds of people had gathered in a breach of lockdown rules.
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police confirmed that officers attended the pub and stayed while people left but said that they did not close the pub.
The spokesperson said: “Police attended licensed premises following a concern for safety report that was not linked to overcrowding.
“A group were dispersed and the matter has been referred to licensing.”
Posts on social media said that dozens of people had gathered there on what was dubbed Super Saturday because of a loosening of lockdown rules meant pubs could reopen.
Posters of social media speculated that the Lane Ends was shut down after police turned up and counted over 200 people inside and it had been closed for failing to keep the social distancing regulations.
An eye witness said he caught the aftermath “with the police marching everyone out”.
He added: “There was no social distancing taking place in the pub and it had close because it had too many people in.
“One of the police officers said over 200 in there which is crazy.”
The Lane Ends earlier said it was opening with social distancing rules in place in accordance with Government guidelines.
These included asking drinkers for their names and addresses, having table service only, and not allowing anyone else in the pub when the seating is full with space in the beer garden as overflow.
A message posted on its page from ‘Sue, Shane and all our wonderful staff’, says: “Lots of do’s and don’ts but all we ask is that you work with us in these uncertain times as it’s new to us too, stay safe and enjoy yourself.
“Hopefully if we all follow the government guidance we can get back to normal.
“We can’t wait to see you all.”
Super Saturday is believed to have passed fairly peacefully in the Bradford district and police reportedly closed no pubs in West Yorkshire yesterday.
Pub-goers on Saturday in the city centre took to the new rules in good spirits in the main helped by patient bar staff.