Iroko Lounge on Onslow Road near Royal South Hants Hospital is to be closed for two months after more than 100 people were found to be dancing in close proximity there. The incident has led to the restaurant’s licence being temporarily revoked.
The party, which took place in the early hours of 23rd August, broke the social distancing laws in place for hospitality businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant’s owner, Haydar Rahman, has said he was not aware that the party was going on, and has apologised.
Police have described the event as ‘the worst breach’ of Covid-19 rules across the whole of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Officers were not even able to fully enter the venue on the night ‘due to the number of persons inside dancing in immediate proximity to each other’.
It has been reported that after the party, more than 100 canisters of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, were found on the floor of the premises.
Instances of rule-breaking such as this are intensely concerning amidst rapidly increasing infection rates and accelerating local lockdowns across the country as the R number exceeds 1 in many areas, including in Hampshire.
No one has been arrested or charged as a result of the incident. The restaurant is set to reopen on 18th November.