'Concerns' raised after police disperse drinkers outside Ipswich pub
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Business leaders have expressed their "concerns" after police were forced to issue a dispersal order to drinkers on Ipswich Waterfront over the weekend.
Staff at Isaacs on the Quay called police as a number of revellers were spotted drinking outside the pub on Saturday evening.
Isaacs made the decision to close early at 9.15pm on the pub's first Saturday of trade since lockdown measures were eased on April 12.
Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, did not blame Isaacs in the incident and said the town's pubs had been responsible in enforcing Covid measures.
He said: "It was a nice weekend and people felt safe and confident to go out. Most pubs would have been fully booked.
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"We have some concerns about the incident outside Isaacs on Saturday, which was of no fault of the pub.
"We have not heard of any pubs doing anything wrong over the weekend."
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Elsewhere in Suffolk, landlords have said they enjoyed a successful weekend and were confident of keeping customers safe as pub gardens reopened.
Mark Dorber, who manages the Anchor pub in Walberswick, said: "It's been busy - people are very pleased to be back out and having cask ale for the first time in months.
"All has gone reasonably well. By and large, people have been pretty responsible.
"There are a lot of things that can go wrong, but it has gone well. We haven't had any issues.
"But I can understand why there's pent-up emotion."
Geoff Page, who is serving up to 20 customers outside the Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds, added: "The weekend has gone well. People have been following the protocols and had a decent time.
"There is no approach to change. We're not doing table bookings and we're not encouraging people to queue."
Penny Youngs-Debnam, who manages the Kingfisher pub in Chantry, said: "It was a bit mental. It was lovely to be open and see the faces we haven't seen in a long while.
"The hospitality trade has got the rough end of the stick - it is very, very hard.
"Everyone knows when alcohol gets involved things can change. But a pub is a very safe environment. We have the toughest restrictions and have to be on form and on top of everything."