A PUB owner says he has been made a scapegoat after being told to turn down the music and stop the dancing.

Carlisle council has issued a prohibition notice on the Cumberland Inn pub on Botchergate and warned that businesses faced 'firmer action' or prosecution if social distancing rules were not followed.

"Our priority is the safety of the pubs and rules are in place to protect everyone,” a spokesperson said.

The pub was seen not to be controlling the risks of spreading the virus.

The prohibition notice, served under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, prevents the venue from operating the premises as a venue used for dancing by members of the public and the playing of music, whether live or recorded, for dancing. The premises are also being investigated for alleged breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to protect both staff and members of the public from the risks associated with Coronavirus.

But Cumberland Inn publican Fred Mohtashami said he felt he was only doing 'what every other pub in this area is doing'.

“The difference is that someone posted a video on Facebook and I think it was picked up from there," he said.

He said the Cumberland was known for its live music, loud music and the space to dance.

“I have been told to take the live music sign in," he said. "I haven’t had a DJ playing live music since lockdown but I had left the sign outside.”

He said he would be following the letter of the law in future because of the concerns of what could happen if he did not.

“We will have the Juke box playing but on a low volume," he said. "If anyone asks for it to be turned up I will tell them no. We will also stop people from dancing in the future."

He said he hoped loyal customers would still visit the bar but, on Saturday afternoon, added: “I have two customers in at the moment. Usually on a Saturday we would be full.”

Mr Mohtashami said he recognised that there needed to be guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus but added: "I still think that I have been picked on because of the online video.”

Following the prohibition notice, Carlisle City Council issued a statement reminding licensed premises to follow the coronavirus guidance or face prosecution.

“Operators of licensed premises are reminded that where music is played in a venue, it must be of such a nature and volume so as not to encourage dancing and avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.

Anyone with concerns about any businesses not adhering to the rules are asked to contact the City Council by emailing environmentalhealth@carlisle.gov.uk