Birmingham restaurant first to be issued warning for flouting coronavirus distancing rules

Emily Cleary
·3 min read
Tipu Sultan (Facebook/Tipu Sultan)
The Tipu Sultan has been issued a warning for breaching social distancing rules and allowing large parties to take place at the venue (Facebook/Tipu Sultan)

A popular Birmingham restaurant has become the first in the city to be warned for breaching COVID-19 guidelines during an enforcement crackdown.

The Tipu Sultan in Moseley was given a direction order from Birmingham City Council on Thursday.

The order came after local authority officers responded to “approximately 25 reports” of events being held on the premises with “significantly more” than the maximum 30 people allowed.

Officers also found the restaurant’s own safety measures in its risk assessment were not always followed, and queuing was not being controlled “in an acceptable manner”.

However, the venue - linked to five coronavirus cases in four weeks - has wished diners a "joyful and safe experience" on its website.

Tipu Sultan (Facebook/Tipu Sultan)
The restaurant is popular for celebrations but has been warned to observe social distancing rules (Facebook/Tipu Sultan)

In a statement titled "COVID-19 update from the management", the restaurant said: "Following government guidelines we endeavour to provide a safe dining environment and would ask you to comply with social distancing measures of a minimum of one metre with other dining guests.

"We wish you a joyful and safe dining experience.

"If you require any further clarification or guidance please do not hesitate to seek advise [sic] from one of restaurant representatives.

"Look after yourselves and each other."

Mark Croxford, Birmingham council's environmental health chief, said "numerous reports" to the council, police and councillors had been made about rule breaches at the restaurant.

At least five confirmed Covid-19 cases had been linked to the premises in four weeks, he said.

New powers to force premises to follow government COVID-19 guidance were handed to the local authority on Wednesday.

As numbers of Covid-19 cases in Birmingham have increased dramatically in recent weeks, and with the expectation that the city will be added to the 'watch list' of critical areas which may face a local lockdown, people wearing face masks pass near the sign for Birmingham New Street / Grand Central station as they continue to come to the city centre for work and shopping on 18th August 2020 in London, United Kingdom. With other areas in the Midlands under localised lockdown, people and businesses are being urged to follow the Coronavirus advice for workplace and family life help reduce the risk. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
Officials have urged Birmingham residents to observe social distancing rules as the city faces the threat of a local lockdown (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)

The venue must now restrict entry, introduce a booking system to cut outside queues, and not allow bookings of more than 30 people.

Management must also separate large parties from other diners, and allow time for tables to be cleaned.

The order will be reviewed but failure to comply with the measures could result in a fixed-penalty fine or a direction to shut the restaurant.

The action came after Birmingham Police said they had to break up more than 70 illegal parties last Saturday night despite a rising number of coronavirus infections in the city.

A street rave with marquees and a DJ in the Northfield area of the city, and a large house party in the Quinton area, were among those to be dispersed by officers enforcing the government’s social distancing guidelines.

Birmingham Police tweeted: “Our officers are out tonight responding to calls about large gatherings.

“Please stick to government guidelines and keep safe.”

New COVID-19 cases in the city have been increasing over the past month, with 351 recorded in the week to 16 August – up from 256 the week before and 144 the week prior to that.

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