A PUB in Torfaen has been given a slap on the wrist after customers were found eating and drinking on the premises during the coronavirus lockdown.

Police community support officers on patrol in Cwmbran on Wednesday, May 6, found customers eating and drinking in the beer garden at the The Castell-y-Bwch.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020, which the Welsh Government introduced in response to the pandemic, all bars and pubs are required to close during the emergency period.

Manager Beverley Hartley said she did not realise allowing customers in the beer garden was a breach of the regulations.


“My pub is totally shut and cordoned off as it is under refurbishment," she said. "We have a little café right at the other end of the car park which has a separate licence to the pub.

“There were two groups of customers who sat down with their takeaway – they were 20 metres apart.

“We thought it was okay for people to sit down and finish their takeaway, as long as they were socially distanced.

“I didn’t think we had broken any guidelines.

“Two PCSOs came and said they were not allowed to sit there. I didn’t know that, so we asked the customers to move on and flipped the tables up so no-one else could sit there.”

A spokesman for Torfaen council said the premises’ licence covers the sale of alcohol for both the hut and the pub.

Cllr Mandy Owen, Torfaen’s executive member responsible for public protection, said: “The law is clear that pubs, like all other food premises, who are operating a take-away service during the coronavirus pandemic must not allow or encourage the consumption of food or drink on their premises.

“The council and police continue to work together to ensure that businesses are keeping our communities safe and helping save lives.

“The vast majority of businesses and the public are following the government’s advice, the council and police will continue to monitor our area to ensure that businesses are keeping our communities safe and helping save lives.

“These premises, and others that are reported to us, will be monitored by both the council and police for any further breaches.

“Failure to comply will instigate further formal action in the form of fixed penalties and potentially prosecution by the courts.”

Pubs found in breach of the regulations are fined £60 for the first offence, which is doubled for a second offence. A council spokesman said, based on the evidence given by the police, it was more appropriate to serve a prohibition notice - requiring them to abide by the regulations - to the manager and premises license holder rather than a fine in this case.