Covid: Birmingham shisha cafe shut down after second breach

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Police officer outside KasablancaImage source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Police released a video "showing the moment we forced our way in to Kasablanca"

Police have closed a shisha cafe after finding about 150 people inside, days after the venue was hit with a £10,000 fine for Covid-19 breaches.

Officers forced their way in to Kasablanca in the Highgate area of Birmingham at 01:00 BST on 24 October.

Video posted on YouTube shows officers forcing entry to the smokers' lounge on Moseley Street, with shrieks audible as they disperse the crowds.

The venue had broken restrictions earlier this month, police said.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Kasablanca had already been fined for breaking Covid regulations

Birmingham and the wider West Midlands combined authority area has been widely predicted to move to tier three "very high alert" measures as soon as the end of next week, as infection rates continue to rise.

In a separate incident, the owner of a venue in Smethwick, West Midlands, has been fined £10,000, after hosting a wedding celebration for more than 70 people.

Ch Supt Andy Beard said: "It's unacceptable that these businesses continue to flout the law, putting lives at risk and increasing the risk of infections as this deadly virus continues to spread.

"This is a difficult time for everyone, but we won't be able to control this pandemic and return to a sense of normality if this continues to happen."

Closed-down venues have their orders reviewed every week by the local authority and owners must prove they are complying with the law before reopening, the force said.

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