A NIGHTSPOT accused of “potentially exposing hundreds of people” to Covid-19 by reopening during the pandemic has had its licence suspended for three months.

Truth/Pulse, in Marine Parade East, faced a licensing hearing after police called for a review following allegations it breached coronavirus restrictions.

It was claimed the venue broke the rules by operating as a nightclub, including people dancing, on August 14.

Nightclubs are prohibited from opening as part of the regulations.

Concerns were also raised about the queue for the venue on August 15.

A report claimed the venue “risked potential exposure of hundreds of people via the spreading of coronavirus” and a video clip obtained from social media purported to show people dancing and not social distancing.

Premises supervisor Jenna Howard said there was no designated area for dancing and music levels were preset - and that the venue has not reopened since it was served with a prohibition notice.

Owner Rob Howard said that as a vulnerable person he was “disgusted” that police would think he would put anyone else at risk.

“I believe they’re trying to set an example by using us – and only using me because I have a flash car,” he said.

Tendring Council’s licensing sub-committee decided on Friday that the venue should have its licence suspended for three months for failing to meet the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder – because it had risked the health of all patrons by failing to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Committee chairwoman Val Guglielmi said: “While recognising Truth/Pulse had put some measures in place against Covid-19, these did not go far enough and the evidence presented to us showing crowds of people, loud music and dancing has led to this decision.

“We hope this sends a clear message to businesses – and residents using them – that they must comply with the Covid regulations, which are in place to keep us all safe.

“We recognise this is a tough time for businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, and we must support them, but within the Covid-secure restrictions.”

Chief Insp Martin Richards, from Essex Police’s Tendring Community Policing Team, said the force would continue to work with businesses to help them operate within the Covid restrictions and enforcement was a last resort.

“Our approach has always been to engage with businesses, explain to them the rules and encourage them to comply to ensure bars and other venues can stay open and trading during the pandemic where legal for them to do so,” he said.

“However, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where premises do not do enough to keep people safe as we must all play our part in keeping a lid on this virus.”

Conditions were also attached to the premises’ licence for when it re-opens, including the prohibition of off-sales of alcohol, a requirement for at least two registered door staff from 9pm if the venue is opening beyond 11pm and for at least one of these staff to monitor the queue, and installation of CCTV.

The venue has 21 days to appeal against the committee’s decision.