A BAR that was criticised for its lack of social distancing measures after a video emerged appearing to show people mingling inside the venue, has been closed down.

Police and public protection officers found breaches of Covid-19 restrictions when they paid a visit to Bar Life on Northgate in Blackburn on Saturday evening.

Officers observed crowded conditions with no social distancing, dancing, and people sitting very close together.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Dancing is not allowed under the current restrictions and customers at bars must keep a social distance from other people not in their immediate bubble."

The one month closure takes effect from 9am on Friday and will be reviewed every seven days.

If the premises can show they are Covid-19 safe and can follow the guidelines fully they can be re-opened, but if Bar Life choose to appeal they can apply to the Magistrates’ court.

On August 29, footage was sent to the Lancashire Telegraph in which loud music could be heard, groups of people could be seen stood up on the dance floor, and people observed milling around the bar area queuing for drinks.

READ: Blackburn bar manager hits back at lockdown allegations

At the time, a spokesperson for Bar Life said they had done nothing wrong and the video was 'misleading' as it showed only a snippet of the evening, and was a misrepresentation of how the establishment actually operates.

On Sunday, the bar said on its Facebook page: "As some of you may be aware, we had a visit from Blackburn police and council last night.

"Although everyone apart from four people were sat down, the police and council raised concerns over social distancing.

"I was informed that we could stay open if we wanted but we decided to close the bar earlier than usual in the interest of public safety."

The closure has formed part of a wider piece of work by public protection officials which has seen four closures and three lesser restrictions.

There have been 19 community protection warnings issued, which are written warnings for Covid-19 breaches, and seven prohibition notices for premises which were breaching closure rules.

Councillor Phil Riley, executive member for growth and development, said: "This sort of behaviour is really inexcusable.

"The restrictions and guidelines are clear for pubs and bars, and there seems to have been no attempt to follow them here.

"This puts customers and staff in danger as it increases the risk of spreading Covid which is increasing across the country among young people in particular.

"The police officers and public protection officers are put at risk as well during these visits if there are too many people in a bar and very little social distancing.

"We want our businesses to stay open and for life to carry on in as normal a way as possible, but this will not be able to happen if people do not follow the rules.

"We all need to help each other to bring our numbers down and keep each other safe.”

New enforcement measures are being used to temporarily close down premises which are clearly not Covid-19 safe through the new health protection powers. These are an important part of the council’s efforts to prevent a full local lockdown, where every business would suffer more than they are now.

Councils were given these new powers in July to take action against premises that are not following the new restrictions.

Blackburn with Darwen Council will continue to act when advice and guidance is not followed or ignored.

In order to re-open, provisions need to be put in place to satisfy Public Health and public protection that the owners have control of the situation and won’t commit further breaches that could put many people’s health at risk.