An Enniskillen resident has described the behaviour of some pubs in the town as “absolutely outrageous and an affront to the community”.

Pubs reopened their doors on July 3 as part of the further relaxation of restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, however it seems some have not been adhering to the guidance issued around the safe operation in pubs with police confirming they have received complaints and visited a number of licensed premises around Fermanagh.

“A number of pubs are showing a total disregard to social distancing, making a joke out of the provision of food and completely ignoring the guidelines provided by the Executive and health authorities,” said the resident.

“Advice indicates limited hours of opening and no entertainment.

One outlet in town had the audacity to impose a cover charge last week to watch football on their big screen. Another blatantly advertised live music with the advice ‘be early to get a seat’.

Are pubs oblivious to the current once in a life time crisis we are all having to endure?

“Will pubs apologise to our healthcare workers and hospital staff who have been putting their lives at risk on our behalf as the pub owners line their pockets?

“Maybe not all pubs but the behaviour of some is absolutely outrageous.”

Pat Blake, a former board member of Hospitality Ulster, declined to comment beyond saying Blake’s of the Hollow will not be reopening until Monday, August 10, the date announced by the Northern Ireland Executive.

“Our priority still remains the health and well-being of our customers and staff. We could have opened ear-lier as there is an established food provision in the building but in these uncertain times we are erring on the side of caution.

“I have seen the consequences of this pandemic in another part of our business and the misery it has brought to families.

“We are not out of the woods yet and I am clearly of the view all pubs including the remaining wet pubs, (non food), due to open Monday week should proceed with care.

“The last thing any business wants is a further outbreak or spreading of the virus in our community.”

A police spokesperson said the PSNI are guided by the Licensing (NI) Order 1996 and the Health Protec-tion (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations NI 2020 to ensure laws are upheld and people are kept safe. They said police have been working with a number of licensees across the county to ensure the community can socialise in a safe environment.

“Police in Fermanagh have received a number of complaints, whereupon we visited several licensed prem-ises and spoke to staff around potential breaches of both the Licensing (NI) Order 1996 and the Health Pro-tection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations NI 2020.

“Where appropriate, advice and guidance was provided to ensure the continued safe and peaceful enjoyment of services.”