Wiltshire landlord’s fury as council says pub’s £50k chalet ‘breaks Covid rules’

Abbianca Makoni
·1-min read
<p>Pubs can serve customers outdoors from next week Monday.</p> (PA Media)

Pubs can serve customers outdoors from next week Monday.

(PA Media)

A pub owner who built a £50,000 chalet for outside dining is “livid” after being told that it does not comply with Covid-19 rules.

Jason Kalen, who runs The Marlborough in Wiltshire, said he followed Wiltshire Council’s advice on the regulations when fitting a bar, pizza oven and a TV in the wooden lodge.

But he said government guidance had changed, meaning he will not be able to welcome drinkers into the chalet when outdoor hospitality open on Monday.

According to the regulations, outdoor roofed structures had to have at least 50 per cent of their walls open when in use — which Mr Kalen’s chalet does not.

The publican, who fitted a breathable roof with a one inch gap around the outside, told the BBC: “Less than a week before we’re supposed to open saying it doesn’t comply. It makes no sense.”

“It’s disgusting.”

Jess Gibbons, Wiltshire Council’s director for communities and neighbourhood services, told the broadcaster that the rules should not come as a surprise to the hospitality industry.

She has the council had emailed over 800 alcohol licensed premises in Wiltshire with guidance on outdoor hospitality after the Government confirmed that the UK would be stepping into phase two of the roadmap.

But “this guidance is not new ,” Ms Gibbons emphasised.

“It is the same as the guidance issued previously, following the last re-opening just prior to Christmas which was covered by the “all tiers” regulations.

“It is based on the legal rules for smoking shelters in the smokefree legislation from 2007 which licensees will be very familiar with,” she added.

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