Police shut down Birmingham shisha lounge only days after it was fined £10,000
Police officers have forced a shisha lounge in Birmingham to shut down after it was caught breaching COVID-19 rules, only days after already being hit with a £10,000 fine for an earlier breach.
A closure order has been issued to Kasablanca in Highgate, after West Midlands Police forced their way in to the venue at 1am on Saturday (24 October) to find more than 150 people still inside.
Video captured by police shows how people poured out of the venue when they broke open the doors after being refused entry.
According to the force, staff at the venue had pulled down shutters at Kasablanca when officers arrived during a previous visit but once officers entered, they found crowds gathered inside with no social distancing.
WATCH Police enter Kasablanca shisha lounge to discover COVID breach:
With the order reviewed every week by the local authority, police have said the venue will have to have prove it is complying with the law before it can open again.
Meanwhile, a venue in Sandwell has also been issued with a £10,000 super fine for flouting COVID-19 restrictions.
Viollet Salon in Smethwick was hit with the fine yesterday (29 October) after police were called to the venue on 10 October following reports that a large wedding was taking place. When officers arrived, they found up to 70 people inside with no regard to the current legislation.
An investigation was launched and the owner was served the £10,000 fine for facilitating the event.
Chief Superintendent Andy Beard said: “It’s unacceptable that these businesses continue to flout the law, putting lives at risk and increasing the risk of infections as this deadly virus continues to spread.
“This is a difficult time for everyone, but we won’t be able to control this pandemic and return to a sense of normality if this continues to happen. We all need to help stop the spread of coronavirus, and no one is above the law when it comes to that.
“The vast majority are following the guidelines and we want to say thank you to those people making those personal sacrifices. We’re continuing to work with local authorities across the region to tackle this virus and help to protect those who live work and visit the West Midlands in the coming weeks and months.”