Outrage after large group of maskless punters filmed singing and dancing in Gosport pub

‘IRRESPONSIBLE’ pub-goers have ignited outrage after being filmed in large groups, singing and dancing without masks in a flagrant breach of coronavirus rules.

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 10:59 am

The reckless punters were caught on camera breaking social distancing rules during a suspected drunken sing-along inside the Jolly Roger pub in Gosport.

A passerby captured the scene on Saturday evening, which showed boozers joining in with Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ song.

The person who recorded the footage told The News they were stunned by the ‘abhorrent and frankly reckless disregard for public safety’ on display in the pub.

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Punters are recorded singing and dancing without masks in the Jolly Roger pub, Gosport, in a breach of social distancing rules

‘Why is it okay that this pub is allowed to break the rules like that but I can’t go and see my family at once because the rule of six applies, (it’s) disgraceful if you ask me,’ they added.

The incident at the Priory Road establishment is now being investigated by Hampshire police and has shocked civic chiefs in Gosport.

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A police spokesman said: ‘We were called at 10.05pm on Saturday, October 24, to a report that patrons in the Jolly Roger pub on Priory Road in Gosport were dancing in a large group and not wearing masks.

Police are now investigating the incident, which took place on Saturday evening.

‘We attended at 10.54pm and the establishment had closed for the evening. We have since received two online reports of a video apparently showing a group of people dancing without face coverings and we are investigating this as a potential breach.

‘We continue to work with local businesses and our partners to ensure that licensed venues are adhering to government guidelines to keep their customers and communities safe.

‘Those found to be in breach could face a fine. Enquiries are ongoing.’

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, is a regular at the Jolly Roger – often having lunch there – and said the pub was normally ‘good’ at enforcing social distancing rules.

Pub-goers have been branded 'irresponsible' for their actions at the Jolly Roger boozer

But he was shocked by the footage and said: ‘This is extremely disappointing. By and large the people in Gosport have been very, very good in maintaining social distancing and obeying the rules.

‘But what happened in the pub is unacceptable and irresponsible. I welcome the police investigation because we have got to get people to stop acting like this.

‘We all have to act responsibly. I know sometimes that’s difficult after a few beers but nevertheless with infection rates are climbing and we need to act responsibly.’

The footage was captured by a member of the public from outside the pub

The News has approached the Jolly Roger for comment.

Hampshire is currently in Tier 1 of the government’s coronavirus lockdown measures.

Branded as a ‘medium risk’ area, the rules mean people are allowed to mix with other households indoors provided they adhere to the rule of six.

Pubs are also required to only provide table service and everyone must wear a face mask while walking around the pub, unless exempt.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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