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Craven District Council

Skipton pub issued with prohibition notice for Covid-19 breaches

A Skipton pub has been issued with a prohibition notice by Craven District Council for contravening Covid-19 restrictions. 

The Ref & Whistle, in Court Lane, Skipton, must now stay closed until the Council’s Environmental Health team has inspected the business again.

The Environmental Health team found that the pub was contravening Tier 2 restrictions in December 2020, relating to the serving of a “substantial meal” and relating to customers being seated while consuming food or drink.

Under Tier 2 restrictions, pubs and restaurants can only serve alcohol for consumption on the premises as part of a substantial table meal. Food and drink must be ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises, and the business must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated while consuming that food or drink.

Environmental Health officers had previously visited the property and given guidance to the business after a number of complaints.

Councillor Richard Foster, Leader of Craven District Council, said: “This prohibition notice shows that we do take breaches of Covid-19 restrictions very seriously.

“We understand the pressures that many businesses are under at the moment, but restrictions are in place to keep us all safe and we will not hesitate to take appropriate steps to ensure the public is protected at this challenging time.

“I would urge all businesses to ensure that they know what the law and Government guidance says, and follow the rules.”

Failure to comply with a Prohibition Notice, without reasonable excuse, is an offence punishable by a fine on summary conviction in a Magistrates Court.

In the event of continued contravention of the Prohibition Notice, or of any requirement under the Regulations, a fine may be issued, or the person may be prosecuted.

Craven, along with the rest of England, is now under a national lockdown. This means many businesses must close, including non-essential retail, leisure and sports facilities, accommodation, and personal care facilities. Hospitality venues are restricted to takeaway, click & collect, drive-through & delivery. For more information on which businesses must close and which can stay open, go to

If you need to report a business for breaching national lockdown, please email