23/10/2020 15:38 BST | Updated 23/10/2020 16:12 BST

Indoor Venue Hit With £10k Fine For Pretending To Be Outdoor Venue

Lab 11's explanation that it was an outdoor event was not borne out by the presence of walls and a roof.

A Birmingham venue has been slapped with a £10,000 fine for breaking coronavirus regulations by falsely claiming to be outdoors.

Lab 11 had tried to pass a marquee off as an outdoor beer garden but was let down by the presence of both walls and a roof.

Officers were called to the specially-constructed tent amid concerns that different households were mixing – which is banned because Birmingham is in tier 2 lockdown. There were up to 120 people inside the venue in Trent Street, Digbeth.

Sgt Nick Giess, from Birmingham police’s licensing team, said: “The venue tried to argue that it was an outdoor event, but there were walls and a roof so it was essentially a building and did not fall into the same category as a beer garden.

“We spoke to people sat at five tables, and four of them had people from different households on.

“People were being allowed to freely move around without masks on and dance to really loud music – all of which goes against the rules that have been put in place to stop the virus spreading.

West Midlands Police
The event at Lab 11

“People shouldn’t think that we’re trying to stop people’s fun. It’s the opposite – we’re trying to protect people and limit the spread of the virus so that restrictions can hopefully be eased.”

A message on Lab 11′s website said the venue was temporarily closed with immediate effect. It added: “We will assess the viability of re opening as and when the guidelines change in the future. If we consider it safe to do so then we will be back at that point.”

It’s the fourth £10,000 fine the force has handed out in recent weeks. 

A shisha lounge, hotel manager and illegal rave organiser have all previously been hit with the fines.