He told MailOnline: ‘These premises are fairly unique in their nature as they only have a premises licence to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises so we believe these premises are classed as a ‘licensed shops selling alcohol’.’
After trading on Tuesday through a ‘click and collect’ system via text message, licensing officers served him with a prohibition notice, ordering him to close.
The notice was made under the updated health protection regulations, which came into force on Monday.
Under current Covid-19 rules, pubs and restaurants across England must remain closed for all but takeaways. This is expected to change on April 12, when venues will be permitted to serve customers outdoors.
However, experts have claimed that Mr Pungi had ‘met the requirements of the law’ by asking customers to order drinks in advance via text message.
Licensing consultant Mr Kheng said: ‘The Beach Bar is not a pub or a cafe. In some respects it is just like Tesco, but just significantly smaller.
‘By pre-ordering, he is meeting the requirements of the law. The new regulations came into effect at the start of the week.
‘You can open for pre-ordered drinks and the rules specifically state by text.
‘People are not going into premises for alcohol, so that is permitted. The difference with the Beach Bar is that it is not a pub.
‘You will not be allowed to sit in a pub beer garden until April 12, so he is unique as normal pubs can’t do this.’
A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesman said: ‘Following reports of the contravention of health protection regulations at the Beach Bar in Cleethorpes over recent days, we can confirm that Council officers have now served the owner of the premises with a £1,000 Fixed Penalty Notice.
‘This notice follows the prohibition notice which was served on the premises yesterday (Tuesday) after multiple breaches of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI. 2021 No. 364).’
The council and Humberside Police have been contacted for further comment.
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