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A landlord has been warned he faces a £1,000 fine if fans cheered, chanted or booed while watching England’s Euro 2020 games at his bar.
Leon Kelly, who owns Level One in Darwen, was visited by licensing officers from Blackburn with Darwen Council ahead of last weekend’s match between England and Croatia.
Mr Kelly, who has previously owned Level One venues in Accrington and Burnley, obtained an 18-month road closure in April to allow him to set up a large marquee at the front of his Darwen bar.
The marquee, which can seat 96 people, also boasts two big screens so customers can watch the Euro 2020 games while enjoying a beer outside.
But when the officers visited he says they told him he must stop customers from booing, chanting or cheering while watching the football to reduce the risk of passing on Covid-19.
“I just sort of looked at them like ‘What?!’,” he said.
“How on earth am I supposed to do that?
"Do I pause when someone’s about to take a shot on goal and warn everyone to keep quiet?”
Mr Kelly told the officers he would have “no chance” of being able to stop people cheering if England scored.
“I told them, just give me the fine now,” he added.
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Gary Johnston, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Service Lead for Environment and Public Protection, said that as the Level One marquee is partially enclosed “singing and shouting” would increase the risk of transmitting coronavirus.
“Our licensing officers did carry out visits before the game to make sure that venues would be as safe as possible for people watching the football,” he said.
“People were obviously looking forward to watching England play and we wanted to make sure that all bases were covered to help people do this safely."
- Euro 2020
- England Football Team
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