A TAKEAWAY joint has been slapped with a £1,000 fine for selling a burger to a customer at 10.04pm – breaching the new coronavirus rules by just four minutes.
Bim's Burgers in Ilford, East London, was said to have broken the rules by having one customer in the store waiting for his takeaway meal past the curfew.
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Under Boris Johnson's latest coronavirus rules, all hospitality venues must be closed and all customers must be out by 10pm.
After inspecting the customer's receipt at the burger joint, it was revealed that they were served at 10pm "on the dot" and "staff were not handing the customer his food until 10.04pm."
The owner's of Bim's burgers said that the incident "was made in good faith" and that it isn't clear how the new coronavirus restrictions on the hospitality industry should be interpreted.
Redbridge MPS said: "Bim's Burger, Ilford Lane breached COVID-19 restrictions by having one customer inside the premises waiting for his takeaway meal.
"On looking at his receipt he was served 10pm on the dot and staff were not handing him his food until 10.04pm.
"The supervisor on shift was issued a £1000 FPN on behalf of the owner."
In a statement from Bim's Burgers, a spokesperson said: "We very much regret that our staff unknowingly breached the Government’s 10pm curfew.
"A customer entered the restaurant a few minutes before 10pm, just as we were shutting up for the night. He was the only customer on the premises at that time.
"We began processing his food order before the curfew and his final receipt was printed at 10pm.
"Our staff were under the impression that if an order was placed by 10pm it could still be served.
"The food took less than four minutes to arrive and he left at 10.04 pm.
"Our staff were then shocked to be informed that they had breached the new laws by a matter of four minutes.
"New rules regarding Covid-19 are being made thick and fast and sometimes it isn’t clear exactly how they should be interpreted."
List of places that have to follow the 10pm curfew
BORIS Johnson has introduced new tougher coronavirus restrictions, including a 10pm curfew on the following hospitality places.
- Social clubs
- Bowling alleys
- Amusement arcades
- Theme parks
- Adventure parks
- Activity parks
- Bingo halls
The rules are slightly different for cinemas and other venues which show performances.
These venues can remain open for the duration of a performance which had already started before 10pm, for example, a film.
But they won't be allowed to serve food or drink to customers after 10pm.
These venues include:
- Concert halls
The burger joint also argued that it would have been insulting to the customer if he had been asked to leave.
The spokesperson added: "This was a very minor mistake, but it was made in good faith.
"Under the circumstances, we think it would have been reasonable for us to receive a verbal warning as opposed to a £1000 fine.
"Had we served a customer at 10.15pm or even later then without doubt this fine would have been fully justified.
"However, we will not be complaining about the police operation and our staff will obviously take greater care in future to abide by the law."
The supervisor on shift was issued with the fine on behalf of the owner.
According to cops, Bim's Burger was one of three businesses in East London that was fined for breaking coronavirus rules.
Fireaway Pizza in Ilford was also fined for breaching coronavirus rules – after police caught two people inside the shop at 10.20pm having just placed an order.
The two customers were sat waiting for their food on stools inside the store and not wearing face masks, leading to a £1,000 fine for the manager.
The new coronavirus curfew rules mean restaurants and pubs must close by 10pm.
The venues can also only run by table service under the new restrictions.
The PM said the 10pm curfew applies to both pubs and restaurants and "all hospitality venues".
These businesses then won't be able to open again until 5am the following day.
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