A club and a caravan park in County Durham which failed to comply with the latest coronavirus restrictions have both been issued with direction orders.

Action was taken against Crimdon Dene Caravan Park and Thornley Officials Club on Friday (9 October) following a serious breach of restrictions which are aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus.

Whilst visiting both premises, Durham County Council’s community protection officers found households mixing, customers standing, and a lack of social distancing being observed.

The caravan park closure relates to the arcade, bar and entertainment areas and both venues will have to remain closed until they can prove they can operate in a coronavirus secure way.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection services, said: “It is in the interest of public safety that every venue in County Durham follows the latest coronavirus restrictions. The significant rise in cases in the region must be addressed and this will only happen if everybody, premises and the public, abides by the rules.

“We hope that these direction orders send a clear message that we will continue to take action against businesses which are failing to comply with the legislation and will do so until they can prove that they can operate safely, in the best interest of their staff and customers. Thankfully, the vast majority of premises across County Durham are complying with the measures. We would like to thank them for their support in keeping people safe during these challenging times and will continue to offer help and advice to ensure they are able to stay open.”

As part of the restrictions which were introduced last month, premises must provide table service only, close at 10pm, have the necessary track and trace requirements, ensure social distancing rules are adhered to and ask staff and customers to wear face coverings.

Residents are also reminded that they must not socialise with people outside of their own households or support bubbles in any indoor setting, including in pubs and restaurants.

In addition, they are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travel to school or work, and not to socialise with people outside of their household in any public venue.

Meanwhile, one club which was ordered to close on Friday 2 October because of a serious breach has now reopened. Having satisfied that it can operate in a coronavirus secure way, Shotton Comrades Club was able to open again last Friday (9 October).

Community protection officers will continue to visit premises on evenings and weekends in order to reassure members of the public that new measures are being taken seriously.

Any premises or person not complying with those could face a fine of £1,000 or closure if the regulations are ignored or the premises remain open beyond 10pm.

A coronavirus checklist for safe operating can be found on the council’s website at http://www.durham.gov.uk/reopenyourbusiness.