The landlord of a Staffordshire pub linked to a coronavirus outbreak has admitted he was “simply not strong enough” in ensuring social distancing measures were enforced.
Custodio Pinto, who runs the Crown and Anchor in Stone, Stoke-on-Trent, apologised on Facebook after at least 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were linked to the venue.
Pinto wrote: “First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest regret for all the anguish, disruption and sadness that the events that occurred in the Crown and Anchor last month have caused to so many.
“I have lived in Stone since 2001 where we have raised our three children and it has always been nothing but the greatest pleasure to be part of this fantastic community.
“However, on July 18, I accept that I was simply not strong enough in enforcing the government’s Covid-19 secure rules, despite detailed preparation according to their guidelines.
“I regret I was complacent in enforcing these rules with the customers.”
The apology came as pubs across the UK were advised to ensure adherence to government guidelines.
Sacha Lord, the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, where an enhanced local lockdown is in place, criticised venues for failing to follow the rules.
“Over the past week, I have heard of numerous pubs, bars and restaurants who have been squeezing customers in, flouting social distancing rules, ignoring contact tracing and actively persuading mixed groups not to cancel bookings,” he said. “These venues clearly have a disregard for the safety of both their customers and their staff.”
Restaurants and drinking establishments in Aberdeen were forced to closed at short notice on Wednesday as part of stricter measures put in place after a local spike in cases linked to a bar in the city.
Fears of further breaches have been heightened by soaring temperatures going in to the weekend.